Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Doc Rock & Run

We finished the Doc Rock & Run this morning in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I ran the half marathon, while my wife, daughter, and daughter's friend ran the 5K. This was a much better experience than our race last month, and we'll probably go back and do it again.

I could definitely feel God and Amanda running with me this morning. For the past 10 days, I haven't been running because both knees had really started bothering me. After the 16 mile run I made a couple of weeks ago, I ran 5 miles that Monday, 5 miles that Tuesday, and started to do another 5 that Wednesday. But that time it just wasn't going to happen.

My knees had been hurting on both the Monday and Tuesday runs, and before 100 yards on Wednesday, the pain was excruciating. So I decided to give them an extended rest. I was planning on only a couple of days, but the pain persisted. So the rest ended up being the entire 10 day period immediately preceding today's race. But it was worth it!

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:19

I finished today's race without any pain in my knees. Praise God! A little soreness in my muscles, especially my calves, is the only discomfort I'm feeling at the moment. The rest and the prayers I said over the past 10 days really made a difference. God does meet our needs and sustains us without a doubt!

I didn't meet my time goal, but I did finish with my fastest time ever for a half marathon, faster than my previous best by 3 minutes. You can see from the picture, my time was 2:15:41. I was hoping to run it in under 2:10, but I'm satisfied with that time.

" 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope."--Philippians 4:19

Throughout the race the wind blew steady around 20 mph, and probably gusted to 30 mph. For miles and miles, the wind was in my face and for a good bit of the rest, it was a hard crosswind. At times, going up some of the hills especially, it seemed I was running in place. The wind was blowing so hard in my face that, when combined with the climb, it seemed to impede almost all forward progress. For only 3 or 4 miles of the 13, we enjoyed a tailwind.

The half marathon course and 5K course split just before the 3 mile mark. The wind was so bad, I honestly thought about hanging the left that would take me up the hill and cross the finish line after only 3.1 miles. That wind was whipping me. But I didn't turn, I knew that wasn't what I came for and I relied on God to keep me going the rest of the way. I suffered the strong winds. I persevered, and now I have increased hope of making it through the big show, the Marine Corps Marathon, in October. God is great!

I have no doubt the wind slowed me down some. Whether or not I would have achieved my 2:10 goal had conditions been more favorable, I can't be sure. But considering the adverse conditions, I'm satisfied with my time.

I was also impressed with the race organizers. Sponsored by Associated Radiologists, the event was a part of the HMG Health and Fitness Expo. Unlike our race last month, the course was well marked and manned with plenty of volunteers who knew what they were supposed to do. There were plenty of water stations, and after the 6 mile marker each water station also had bananas available for runners.

The race ended at the Arkansas State University convocation center where runners were offered Gatorade or water, chips, and frozen yogurt in addition to an ample assortment of fresh fruit. The Expo was also going on, so there was plenty to do and see inside (out of the driving wind.) There was a live band playing on a stage outside, but the weather kept any crowd from gathering to hear them play.

Overall, a great race with great family and friends. We raised a little money for our charities. We'll raise more as time goes on, and continue to grow this ministry as long as God keeps leading us to do so. We'll be looking for another race to run next month and will keep you informed when we decide.

Thanks to all who've donated to the charities we support, and thanks to all who have helped us spread our message over the past month. So far, you've given $1,541.17 combined for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Arkansas Children's Hospital, and Soaring Wings Ranch. Our goal for this year, our first year, is $3,000. Hopefully we'll blow the top off that long before October!

Don't forget, if you can't help financially at this time, you can still help by getting the word out. You can become a fan of our Facebook page and suggest it to your friends, you can follow us on Twitter, and you can comment on our blog posts and Facebook posts. All of these things help us spread the word, get our name out to more people, and ultimately help us accomplish our mission to Reach, Raise, and Remember.

Thanks for everything you've all done to help us. God bless you all!

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