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Monday, April 22, 2013

Life changing Day 2: Part 1: Iowa cold can't stop the 5K miracle

Day 2:  
8:15 AM:
Aubrey wakes me up....HELLO....the 5K starts in 45 minutes!!!  Are you serious!???  

I had planned on having at least an hour in prayer to prepare myself for this ridiculous challenge.  Why did I sign up for this thing again?

My look today: pig tails,  yoga pants, leg warmers (I bought 3 years ago and just opened the package) and a cute swimmers shirt and jacket I borrowed from Aubrey.  Despite the freezing Iowa wind I was sweating bullets.

Kneeling at the foot of the bed crying out (in a whisper) to Jesus for grace to do this thing...He gave me the scripture "you will rise up on wings like eagles, you will run and not grow weary and you will walk and not faint"  (wish I knew the verse to share with you).  Ok, that’s a good one God, thanks.


I looked in the mirror before heading downstairs: lo and behold.....I LOOK LIKE A RUNNER!  No, really, if I didn't know myself I'd say I was a runner.  But I Do know me and I couldn’t be further from it.  

Walking down the stairs of my Grandma Barb's house that morning for the zillionth time in my life I had peace....a strange peace that I had to fight for in the midst of great fear.  As soon as everyone saw me the chuckles commenced.  Huh, why is everyone laughing....
it must be the pig tails? 

Uh-oh, doubt and fear are creeping in again....  Now I asked if there would be a pace car or golf cart to take me back in case I couldn't make it....NO!!!  His GRACE is sufficient for me!!!!  

And then there was Garrett (precious guy boyfriend to my lovely cousin) who went out of his way to get me my morning coffee.....he then gave me the brilliant idea to employ a thick German accent while explaining to everyone "I am a runner but I am off for weekend.....but today I make exception and run/walk for Tyler"  This guy cracks me up with his accents and those wacky facial expressions.  I felt like part of the family.....oh, wait, I AM part of the family!

Backing up a bit for my story, the day before my journey began, my good friend Cindy from California gave me some wise yet confusing advice.  She said I needed to warm up then stretch before I run.  Warm up?  Hmm....what exactly does that mean (considering I'm not a runner this seemed so foreign to me).  So I told everyone I was supposed to warm up then stretch or I might pull something.  You wanna know what they mean by warm up?  RUN!  run before a run????....seems a bit odd to me but I'm willing to listen to words of wisdom from someone who has actually tried this running thing in the past 20 years.  

So with my fresh coffee in hand we take off on an easy jog to the TOP of the HUGE hill where the start line is.  

can you see my nerves?  Not too thrilled yet but Aubrey looks like she does this all the time....oh yeah, she does.
Once on location I tried out my accent on a couple of strangers (I mean new friends) telling them today I run/walk, not to wait up for me.....it didn't sound as good as when the G-man said it but I was trying to not show fear by making people laugh.  Oh, wait...."I have the peace that passes all understanding" ....down in my heart.  Peace....GRACE.....I CAN do this!  Don't sweat this!
Just before the countdown while everyone was taking their places I realized what my plan was (or my call from God for this challenge) I was to capture this through the lens of my iPhone.  Oh, now this will be FUN! Other than the whole I have to run thing.  Everybody, get in close for the picture....

5, 4, 3, 2, 1....and they’re off.  

Aubrey, Garrett & Logan take off at a dead run & within 5 paces I can no longer see them.  Good.  I wanted to do this thing alone anyway...without pressure to keep up.  From the first step, God supernaturally gave me a stride that felt perfect for me.....all the way DOWN the hill.....this is easyJ  If it weren’t for my numb fingers I could’ve forgotten it was freezing outside. 

Oh wait, inspiration.  Stop for a picture....
people are staring...let ‘em stare I got a great shot.  And again, and again.  The more pictures I took the more at peace I felt (God knows me soooo well).  Now I was actually having fun....and singing praises to God if you can believe that.  I sang an old hymn I don’t remember the last time I sang....Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

The fun fact for me: I was not simply meant to run this thing I was meant to capture the memories.  Not only for me but for Tyler and all those who love, support and pray for him.  It  was my mission. ...in addition to Living Decorated obviously. 
I had to run way out of the way to get this shot but I love the Iowa tractors-in-the-neighborhood feel.

Tiger Nation y'all....these flags are everywhere:)  Go TIGERS!

I've never seen a u-turn sign in the middle of a 5K but then again I'm not that much of an expert
I guess they didn't want the route going out to all the farms....then it would've been a full-on marathon I guess.

This is the nursing home where my Grandma Vivian spent her last days....it's also the place Barbie worked for years.
GPa Wayne still goes here to witness to the folks making sure they've had the opportunity to give their hearts to Jesus:)

and the pit stop pass off...gotta love it.  Look how these folks are dressed....does it give you any idea how COLD I AM?

I had the BEST time...and guess what?  Other than the few stops I made for pictures I ran the whole way at the same pace I had from the starting line.  Say it with me......MIRACLE!  
final turn before heading up the hill...this is about where Logan met me for the big push

I turned the final corner and was actually surprised I was nearing the finish line.....clear up at the TOP of that first hill, might I add.  It’s ok, I got this!  Then I see my cousin, Logan, coming back to run the last leg with me.  What a champ!   He pushed me hard up that hill...faster than I’ve ever run and guess what:  I finished in (we’re guessing) 33 minutes.  They forgot to call out my time but gauging by the time I was at the last corner we came up with that number. 

I even got a video of crossing the finish line (which is a story in itself).

The moral of this 5K (for me).....GOD is faithful!  He will give you the grace to do something you could NEVER do out of your own ability.   I was (and still am) in awe of HIM!  Not by MY might or my strength but by HIS Spirit I was able to do that crazy freezing run without training or sleep. 

Oh, and hold on before you read this next line or you may just fall out of your chair.....I AM a runner!!!!  No, really, I am......a RUNNER.  Maybe not fast but I know how to run and have fun at the same time by capturing the moment.  I’m ready for my next 5K...maybe this time I’ll train though???
I love my supportive, funny family peoples.....I'm ready to go back....if nothing else than for my orange fanny pack, Garrett:)

Since this was a long story and that only puts us at 10:30 am on Saturday I’ll just post the rest of that crazy day tomorrow....you’ll have to come back for more pictures, more videos and more amazing stories of the power of God which covered me this whole journey.  

His strength sustained me through days of sleep deprived madness with grace, peace and abundant JOY!  I can’t wait to share more with you.  

Love n High Energy running power,

In case you missed any of the previous days or videos here ya go:

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