Monday, April 30, 2012

♪I won't give you more, more than you can take ♪

April 30, 2012.  Nine months ago I lost the love of my life.  In many ways, it seems like a lifetime ago; in other instances, it seems like only yesterday.  Our family's still suffering from aftershocks, from a post-traumatic stress syndrome of sorts.  One minute, we'll be fine, laughing, having fun.  The next, crying as we miss and reminisce about a great guy that we were lucky enough to love and call our husband and daddy. 

Yesterday, I fulfilled one of my promises to him.  I ran the Oklahoma City Half Marathon for the second consecutive year.  When I completed it last year (my first attempt), Mark was so proud.  He gushed about me on his facebook page, which was so out-of-character for him.  He urged me, 12 months ago, to go ahead and book a hotel room, so I could run it again this year. 

I didn't book the room, but it was in the back of my mind that I would, indeed, train and run it in 2012.  He would remind me at various times, and even had me promise that I would do it last June.  It seemed like an easy promise at the time.  But then July came and went, and I was now a widow. 
Training for a half marathon was the least important thing on my radar.  I began my usual routine of running 15 or 20 miles a week last fall, but didn't think I had the drive nor time to train.  A good friend thought otherwise, and convinced me to register.  We, in turn, convinced another friend to go for it, too.

As the date approached for the marathon, I began to wonder if I could truly do it justice.  So much has happened in these past nine months.  I completed last year's half in well under 3 hours; this year, I knew that probably wouldn't happen.  I worried about how long it might take me this year.  Then it hit me.....who cares how long it takes?  Heck, I've literally had the rug pulled out from under me since last July.  Any finishing time is a victory for me.....just as long as I finish.  My crossing the finish line will be symbolic---it will prove that I'm still standing, still kicking, still in the game of life. 

So I ran.  And ran pretty well, until mile 11 (of 13.1 total miles).  My left hamstring developed a knot the size of a tennis ball.  It hurt.  Not sure why it happened, but I know it stopped me dead in my tracks.  My 12 minute mile average went down the toilet.  I slowed to a limping walk.  To add insult to injury, my iPod battery died, at 12.1 miles.  No more upbeat contemporary Christian music to urge me forward. 
What should I do?  I've come this far, but there's no way I can run the rest of the way.  Saying a quick prayer, I massage the leg, and try to walk.  Surprisingly it doesn't hurt too badly, so I continue walking.  And praying.  Those were the longest 2.1 miles of my life.  People passed me right and left, but I didn't care.  All I wanted to do was finish. 

I finally spot the finish line, and hobble from a walk to a very-slow-jog.  I cross the finish line a few seconds short of 3:30.....not great, but not bad.  Such emotion washed over me as I accepted my medal.  The first thought I had?  I couldn't wait to call Mark, like I did last year.  I wonder how long it will take my subconscious thought process to quit that.  As soon as the thought enters my mind, in a millisecond it's replaced with the thought he's not here to call anymore.  But it still occurs to me.


I'm thankful I'm still standing.  I don't know what's in store for the boys and me in the next months, but I'm ready for whatever God has in store.  I'm sore today, but the hamstring is better.  I'll take a few days off to rest up before I head out and hit the trail again. 
I spent precious time with three friends, we each completed our chosen race in Oklahoma City.  I hope we can do it again next April. 

And my new favorite song, the one that gets my heart pumping and singing along on the run?  It's by Group 1 Crew, "He Said":

So your life feels like it don't make sense
And you think to yourself, "I'm a good person,
So why do these things keep happening? "
Why you gotta deal with them
You may be knocked down now, but don't forget
What He said, He said

"I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break
And know, I'll never, ever let you go"
Don't you forget what He said
Don't you forget what He said, He said

Who you are ain't what you're going through
So don't let it get the best of you
'Cause God knows everything you need
So you ain't gotta worry
You may be knocked down now, but just believe what He said

He said "I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break
And know I'll never ever let you go"
Don't you forget what He said

Don't fear when you go through the fire
Hang on when it's down to the wire
Stand tall and remember what He said

"I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break"

"I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break
And know I'll never ever let you go"
Don't you forget what He said

Don't you forget what He said.


I may be bent.  But He won't let me break.  I believe that with all of my heart.  And I won't forget what He said.  

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Christmas, 2012

Christmas, 2012