Last Saturday I attempted a 17 mile run – it was a disaster. The first 12 miles went well and I completed them in 95 minutes. However the last 5 miles were full of hills and I knew it would be a tough way to finish the run. The temps which were over 65 and humidity which was running high did not help!
As I entered into the last five miles, the calves were the first to protest the hills, beginning to cramp with each one. I made it to mile 15.5 when I came to my “Lemon Drop” Hill. This was the hill that I used to train for the hill on Grandma’s marathon route that comes at mile 22 and named for a restaurant by that name that once sat on this hill. I was told that as a first time marathoner, that I would not be able to run this hill due to the placement in the course. This was a challenge to me and I trained for that hill. I was able to run Lemon Drop hill, which was really just a bump in the road compared to the hills that I train on.
But as I approached that hill on Saturday, every muscle in my body from the gluts on down screamed in pain and shut down – I was done. I was three miles from home and it was a painful walk home.
So as I approached running 18 miles today I was concerned. Prior to the run, I bought new shoes. I had a monster blister from the run on Saturday. I also bought new inserts for more support and new socks. I figured out a new way to carry fluids for hydration and was set to go.
However this morning, I had a different focus while running – a 4 month old baby named Johnathan. I left without my MP3 player so that I could spend the time praying for little Johnathan. He had open heart surgery on Tuesday – the day he turned four months old and has spent this week fighting for his life. As I prayed for Little Johnny, I ran and the miles flew by – literally, because 2 hours and 26 minutes later I was done – a personal record for me.
What made the difference – the focus wasn’t on the running but on a baby that needed help from a big God who loves to work miracles. I devoted this run to pray for him and to not be concerned with the time for this run. What has always made running delightful for me was spending time with God and praying for others. I went back to that today and the results that God gave were amazing.
If you want to know more about Baby Johnathan, click here for the link to the “Little Hearts, Big Miracles” blog. There you can learn of the story that began in December when he was not expected to live more than 2 more weeks in the womb and surprised everyone by making it to delivery in April. It is an amazing story. And God has been at work, answering the prayers of many for this little boy to turn the corner to recovery. God is indeed good and gracious.