"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Big House Big Heart Race

 I Praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made:your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14
Last year was the first year we ran The Big House Big Heart. And it was way different.
For One. I was soo sick last year. I was trying to hide it from Andy because I knew he would not want me to run. When we got up in the morning to get ready I would put on an article of clothing then go lay down. Piece by piece I eventually got dressed. When Andy was not looking I would go lay down. I had been sick all night with a fever and dizziness. I would stand up and get light headed and really hot. That was the only time I was hot though. It was about 40 degrees outside. The drive to The Stadium is about 50 minutes and I just leaned my seat back and slept and prayed all the way.I thought for sure I was not going to finish the 6 miles through the campus last year but by the grace of God he gave me enough energy to run with Andy all the way and even encourage Andy to dig deep to the finish.
Mom and Dad

This year it was a family event! Not only did Andy and I run but we came with the whole family. Mom and dad and the boys also came down with us to walk the 5K. My Monday running partner "Katie" even met at our house with her friend "Nick" to race also.
The weather was scheduled to be 80 degrees. We were in shorts and tee shirts, a far cry from last years double layers and internal 5 hour chills.
When we arrived at  the stadium it was more fun to watch mom and dad. Mom going to get her first bib.  Dad wanting to check everything out and show mom. Just watching them getting ready for their first race.
Andy and I had to go back to the car to take our shirts back. But I was so bummed when I got to the car and realized I did not have my Garmin. No watch, Not timer. No kidding!
I was using this race as a training race for the next weeks Free Press. How was I going to know my pace? Or gauge my pace. I wanted to cry but I just let it go. There was nothing I could do at this point.

We met back with the family, went to the bathroom, then gave hugs, kisses and good wishes only to separate again.
Andy and I headed to the 10k starting line. As we walked down the sun was warming our skin. We found a little corner where we prayed together and separated.
When I got into my division I looked around at peoples wrists to see if they had timing devices on. I actually even asked a guy what he was running. But once the National Anthem started and the "GO" voiced itself I never saw him again.
I just took off. I looked at all the runners around me. I was looking to see who was pacing themselves. There was a older guy about 5'5 who looked like a strong runner, a man in a kilt and a girl with blue shorts next to me. There were several others but these 3 seemed to be in my box. I was determined to stay with this pack. They seemed like they were around my pace. The pace I thought I MIGHT be at!
It was pretty fast. I was really trying to stay focused. Breathing and relaxing. But I was struggling with my music and I took my stupid phone that was moving all over my sports bra where I thought it would be secure. It might have been fine if I had something to hold it up!
I managed to stay with them and at about mile 4 I thought I would ask the older guy what pace we were running. He looked a bit startled and as he went to check the pace he ran right into a girl. OOPS, that was my fault! He almost took her out. But he was really gracious and told me he was running about a 7:05 pace. "OH MY" was my first thought. Can I hold this up for 2 more miles? Could I finish at this pace? "I am going to try and finish with you." I yell at him. "Thanks, I am going to shadow you." And we pressed on.
At mile 6 he turned back and recited our pace. It was not much past that point where he sped up. This is pretty typical only I was already working with an empty tank. He was now 5 feet in front of me and slowly adding distance. I was determined to not loose site of him. I saw him throw his arm to the left showing me our pace. I couldn't feel my lower extremities but I kept moving. We were running towards the Stadium now. "Come on Nita, make it inside, keep going, don't quit." "Please Lord strengthen me." I could still see him and there was the Kilt guy too. Into the Stadium, the Fight song rang through the tunnel. "Kick it Nita"..It was Awesome. There was the banner. I debated on jumping up to hit it because I was scared I might fall on my face. But I did anyway! I finished without falling!
I found that older guy who was looking for me to see how far I had finished behind him, I told him Thank you, and I really appreciated it. He was very nice to pace me in. This is what running is about to me. Not just reaching your goal but helping someone else reach theirs or cheering them on.

Katie,ME, Andy

Andy crossing the finish line
Andy came in a little while later. Together we got water and food and even Found "Katie" as she finished. Together we walked over to the results and discovered I came 3rd IN MY DIVISION! I was stoked. I honestly couldn't believe it. I ran a 7:02 pace! That was the fasted I have ever ran a 10K that's a PR!! (Personal Record)

Then out of the clear blue Austin came up to us!! He decided to run and separated from mom and dad. That took a lot of courage and strength. He didn't even train since last years CC. Austin was spent. It got me all choked up knowing he was out there running alone. Andy said to him," Austin, you didn't stop?. How did you keep going?" Austin turned around to look at me and said," I just remembered all those things mom is always telling me."  I had to look away as the tears were starting to well in my eyes.
This is link for results.
Mom and Dad came through the tunnel with Alec. The plan was for us to finish again with them but Alec BOLTED! Andy and Austin ran after him and I finished with Mom and Dad.
What a great family event. To see the smiles and laughter. To watch runners of all ages and sizes accomplish their goals. To see families taking pictures and supporting one another. There is so much emotion to absorb in a race. As empty as your tank might be it is quickly refilled by the sentiment of others.
"I will refresh the weary and sanctify the faint" Jeremiah 31:25


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