Last time we left off, I was asleep, dreaming about my upcoming race. The next morning came quickly. Charissa, my family, and I wake up at the
early decent hour of 3:30am. I get my race gear on, put on a few swipes of mascara, eat some toast and head to the van.
After a twenty-minute drive, we park the van and walked to the race starting line! After milling about, we stop and paint my arms with Sabri’s name. It is such an honor to run for this little girl. To run for freedom, to run for the little girls that are sold into slavery, to run to free them from a life of slavery and share with them the Gospel. Priceless.
After painting my arms and legs, the Lord sends a woman named Valerie my way. She is running for As Our Own too, we immediately connect and chat away twenty minutes. Fifteen minutes till start time, my parents, Charissa, and my siblings leave for the start line, and Valerie and I find a quiet spot to pray for each other at. She quotes Hebrews 12:1-2
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings to us so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that it set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
It is perfect.
After we pray for each other, we head into our separate corrals. Music starts. Energy surges. Adrenaline pumps. And I am off.
So, I begin. I start running. Miles 1-3 I meet with a runner and we talk the whole way. It’s fun to have another runner to talk with and pass the miles with.
Miles 4-6 pass quickly. I enjoy the crowds, water stations, and community of runners. I try to continue pacing myself so I don’t aggravate my ankle. Every time I pass a water station, I grab a cup and down some. Hydration and fuel is key!
These miles seemed to be the hardest mentally and physically for me. My left leg starts to feel heavy, and my time slows a bit. I start to get a little frustrated, but then, beautifully, the Lord brings all the text messages of support and prayers to my mind. I also grab a raspberry (?) CLIFF Gell. It doesn’t taste the best, but it helps spur me on.
I couldn’t believe how fast these miles flew by. When I look at my Garmin and see 10 miles, I am shocked! Three miles baby! My legs get stronger, my mind is determined, I grab water, and set my focus on the Founder and Perfecter of my faith.
What!? Mile 12? This is the furthest I have ever run before. I meet up with a guy running beside me and we chat for a while. Mile 12 felt amazing. New prs. New accomplishments.
I see mile 13 ahead of me. Tears come to my eyes and I spot my mom yelling, “Run Lulu, woohoo!” I run through the victory shoot. Foot and foot. Step after step. Ahead I see Mrs. Daniels, Lucy, and Elaine. Mrs. Daniels ran two years before and she and her family came to support me. I see them cheering and see my little friends faces. I raise my hands, cheer, and run past.
The finish line comes into view. Is it already over? Have I really run 13.1 miles? Is this real? I see Mr. Daniels, baby James, and hear my family and Charissa cheering me on. I see their handmade signs and I run. I run for the girls. I run for Sabri. I run for the Gospel. I run to finish. I run to accomplish. I run to cross the finish line. And then I hear, well done. Well done.
A medal is placed on my head. I check my Garmin 13.1. I did it. I finished.
Suddenly I am engulfed in hugs and it is beautiful.
Before we leave, I check my stats. I win my age division. Wow. God is amazing. No ankle pain and a win. Amazed.
God is so good. He is faithful. He is to be praised. Amazing grace. Thank you Lord for the precious girls that were reached because of the money raised through As Our Own.
(If you want to read more about As Our Own check them out at: www.asourown.org)
Thank you all for your support. You are wonderful.