My sister Rivers and I ran (read: slowly jogged) a quarter marathon last Saturday! It was amazing. My sister in law was coming in from Ohio to run the Louisiana half marathon (she had never even run a mile before August!) and she was one of my inspirations. I try to work out a couple of times a week at the gym, and around Thanksgiving I had started running for my cardio and was doing maybe a couple of miles on the treadmill. Rivers and I decided on a whim to sign up for the quarter, and by the grace of God we actually did it.
Also, if graduate school doesn’t work out for Rivers, she could seriously be a motivational speaker or a life coach. When we got to the bridge for the second time during the race, about a mile and a half from the finish line (no one told me there was a bridge on the route!), she ran up behind me, whacked me on the tush, and yelled, “You’ve GOT this, Erin! You’ve had three children and you ROCK!”
I didn’t realize until the very end of the race last weekend that a 10K is not the same as a quarter marathon. (Who puts in all those hours of training and doesn’t think to check the distances?!) I had thought they were the same thing (and I guess they basically almost are). I had been training for a 6.2-mile race, but a quarter marathon is 6.55 miles. A small difference in the end, but at the end, I couldn’t decide whether to burst into tears or get super pumped up that I was about to run a longer race than I had expected. I think I did both.
Another thing that inspired me to run this race was the Born to Run 5K that our local Woman’s New Life Center puts on every fall. Michael and walked the 5K this year with the kids, and I was surprised to see that a few older mothers I know ran the entire race, and actually won some speed awards. These women have six, seven, eight children, and they get out there after they have a baby and get into shape mentally and physically. I honestly remember thinking to myself, “If they can do it, then I can do it!” So I downloaded a free app on my phone, put on my hot pink running shoes, and hit the pavement (and the treadmill at the gym).
I have only recently realized a deeper motivation I had to train for the quarter marathon. In this long period of waiting in my life–in this long race that I’m running just by waiting–it felt good to have a goal and end in sight for once, even if it was just a little one. I feel like God gave me the gift of hope (and maybe distraction, too:). He provided me the resources (a good gym with babysitting, an amazing running partner, a supportive husband) and the healthy body to let me train for this race.
The Lord is kind and merciful!