Saturday, 06 September, I was on the starting line of the “Get Ready to Rock”  20 mile/10K race in White Bear Lake.  The weather was almost perfect – at least from my perspective.  As I was approaching the start line, I was also waiting – waiting from my friend to join me.  She was running the 10K part of the race and was kind enough to run with me the first 5.5 miles and help me set the pace.

As we started the race, I was thinking how delightful it was to have someone alongside to run with, even if it was just for a short time.  It is always hard to find running partners – not many want to go the distances that I run.  What a pleasure to have someone to share those first miles with and get the race jitters out of the system.   She helped to keep my spirits up and my pace steady.  When it came time for her to leave, she prayed for me to run the race with endurance.

This course was a good pre race run for the Chicago marathon.  This course is mostly flat and was billed as a good pre courser to the Twin Cities marathon – which is also a flat course.  The first 5 miles flew by as I had someone by my side encouraging me.  The next 7 miles were uneventful – completed those first 12 miles in 2 hours which put me in good position to finish just over 3 hours.

Then at mile 13.5 muscle cramps and fatigue hit hard.  As I was struggling to deal with both issues, I realized that I was on my second trip around Bald Eagle lake.  I began to wonder if I would see a Bald Eagle.  For some reason I looked up in the sky and saw a beautiful Bald Eagle directly over head.  I had never seen a Bald Eagle in flight before and it was an awesome sight.  It was amazing to watch this massive bird soar effortlessly on the breeze.  Seeing this bird turned my thoughts back to some of my favorite verses in Isaiah – Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles ; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.  For me, it was like a breath of fresh air to be reminded of where my strength comes from.  I began to pray for renewed energy and strength to finish the race.

At mile 17, I had recovered from the muscle cramps and was able to finish strong- even had a kick at the end.  It was not the race I had planned or trained for, but it was a good race.  I was able to walk off the muscle cramps and fatigue, regroup and finish the race.

My kids were a bit disappointed in the race -they would have liked a better finish time.  However it shows that I still have some work to do to get ready for the race.  It has become apparent to me that miles 13-16 are tough ones for me.  So it will be a run of 15 miles this weekend to break through that barrier.