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, March 10, 2012

Another PR at the Chase Race Today

By the grace of God! Only by the grace of God. Six days after running my 2nd marathon, I set a new PR in the 2 mile distance.

By all rights, I should be stiff, sore, and not feeling the least bit like running less than a week after the marathon. Instead, I was feeling fantastic this morning. Last year on this same course I ran my previous best, a 16:49.6. In 2009, I ran a 17:24 on the same course. Today's 14:56.41 blew those away by a mile! A PR by a minute and 53 seconds on a two-mile course.

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"--Matthew 19:26

Only God can make that happen for a 43-year-old fat man!

According to the Garmin, the first mile clipped by at a 7:16 pace, the second at 7:39. That's probably the fastest I've run since I got out of the Marine Corps in 1995. When I started running again three years ago, my first 5K was somewhere around 29 minutes. I can promise you that improvement didn't come from this old fat man.

In fact, until last year I was trying to improve using only my strength and my ability. I was running and training the best I knew how. And, yes, I was improving, but so slowly the improvement was hardly noticeable. Just like the times above indicate, 35 seconds over two years on a two-mile course.

It wasn't until after Amanda died that I started leaning on God and handing over control of my running to Jesus Christ, letting Him take the reigns and have the glory. That was when I really started seeing improvement. Since running my first marathon in October last year, I've set personal records for every distance--the marathon, half marathon, 15K, 10K, 5K, and now the 2 mile.

And not just eeking out PRs either, but beating previous bests by significant amounts of time. I don't believe it's a coincidence that this streak of improvement follows my decision to devote my running to God's work and this ministry.

You see, I was feeling a calling to use my running to glorify God for months before Amanda died. Stubbornly, I tried to ignore that calling. Struggles with my running went beyond less-than-impressive improvement on times. Twice before half marathons (my biggest races at that point) I was stricken with injuries that greatly impeded my performance. After the second injury, I knew God was trying to tell me to wake up and answer His call.

I stumbled around here and there trying to figure something out for a few months, but it wasn't until two months or so after Amanda's death that this ministry began to take shape. And ever since then, the improvement in my running has come in great strides.

"14'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.'"--Psalm 91:14-15

There's no way I could make that improvement on my own. God has truly blessed me. So, thank you Jesus for another great race and another great day and another PR!

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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