Saturday, September 11, 2010

Running the Emerald City Quarter Marathon

Ava and Sophia with me by the end of the race.
Friends Jess and Sarah at the end cheering me on. It was so cool to see people you knew after running the race! Thanks guys.

Brandon brought the girls to say "Go Mommy!"

The finish is just beyond the picture!
To tell the story about what made me sign up for this race, I have to back up to Hocking Hills - Fall 2006. I was hiking with Brandon up and down the hills there and hating it. Like, freaking out scared of the cliffs (we were hiking Cantwell Cliffs). I was literally hiking with my hands and feet on the ground at some parts.
A prior skydiving jump had put the fear of God into me about heights and it was deepening into my heart. Taking root. Isn't it funny how life gets into your psyche?
When I get scared, my heart starts racing, my fingers and hands get clammy and I don't have the best mouth. I know that's horrible, but honey, I feel like I am going to fall off the side and it just comes out.
Anyway, we went hiking again with our lifegroup and I panicked again, but it wasn't as bad thanks to their help. And then the next year it was even better.
What made me really mad was that my fear, fear of falling or fear of life, was taking away parts of my life that I wanted to try and experience with Brandon and the girls.
Brandon has always been into hiking mountains and when we went to Colorado this year, I really wanted to climb a 14er with him.
Fourteeners are named after their height, 14,000-plus feet, and the tree line stops somewhere around 11,000 feet. They are sometimes dangerous, but doable and are always, well, high! So if you have a fear of heights, they are a no-go.
This year though I just had this intense desire to conquer my heights fear for good. So Brandon and I climbed Grays Peak outside of Denver, Colorado (more in a separate blog to follow).
The climb was breathtaking. It was intense. And it was so lifechanging. On the way up, I was walking by myself because Brandon has a blister. Brandon told me to go ahead so I kept going. If you stopped, it was really hard to stop and then go again.
Anyways, I was by myself thinking, "This is supposed to be a couple thing. We should be walking together" when I just felt this voice say, "I want you to do this by yourself." That line from "Hope Floats" was also just getting me -- "You are a lot stronger than you think you are."
I felt it so strongly that I was supposed to walk by myself that I started to tear up. I mean to have this fear and be almost at the top of the mountain, you just feel like you can do anything.
When I got to the top, I talked to a girl who had ran, yes ran! the last part and asked her how she had so much endurance. She said she ran, so I was like, "hey" that's my next goal!
I finished the quarter marathon last Sunday and am signing up for the Nationwide half marathon in October.
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To do the race, which was 6.5 miles, I had already some endurance from biking and elliptical.
I followed the Emerald Quarter Marathon training plan.
Currently, I am following the Nationwide half marathon training manual. One thing that helped was running every mile and trying to sprint the last 1/4 of every other mile. That really helped me in the finish. Also, I run sprints on easy days on the trail behind our house which has mile markers. I run about a 300 year sprint.
My perfectionism can sometimes get in the way. When it's not fun, then I know I am thinking about it too much and need to take it easy.
Anyways, I just wanted to encourage anyone else who might have fears in life to take small steps toward overcoming them. I wasn't alone and God is always there with us.
Isaiah 26:3
3 "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
When it seems our mind wants to take us far from peace, we have the promise of peace when we trust in Christ. This verse kept on going through my mind as I was walking past a high cliff close to the trail. It really helped me to feel at peace. And it helps when I have a million things going through my head as I workout.


Jess said...

Love this friend!! Love your heart and am so glad I got to see you cross the finish line :)

LaRonda said...

Thanks for sharing! This is very encouraging to me!

Ali said...

Wow, Erin. I had no idea all that you had to overcome in order to hike that mountain. And now running?! You are awesome, friend.

Lisa said...

Wow, how did I not know this? I feel so left out :)
Seriously, I am super excited for you, you are awesome. Love you dear friend.

Erin said...

Thanks you all! Love you lots.