"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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Danielle: My Gift

They said the weather was going to be 44 degrees. But by the time I arrived at Indian Springs it was only 26 degrees. The sky was a brilliant pink shade and the sun was shining. There was a jeep and a van already there at 9 in the morning.
I was hoping to see Katie but she didn't make it. Danielle showed up soon after me. She was lightly dressed as usual, only wearing a pair of black running pants, a long sleeve running shirt and a jacket...Yeah and by a jacket I mean something that looks like you would wear in the spring. I had 3 layers on and one for back up!
I was excited to see Danielle but also sad to not see Katie because Katie keeps us at a comfortable pace of about 8:45 minute miles...Danielle and I run almost directly on the same page. This means today she was going to be pushing me!

As much as I love being pushed - running hard it HURTS. When you are done and look at your watch that pain and fatigue are all worth it. We started out of the gate running that first mile at a respectable 8:37 pace. The first mile is always hardest so it felt more like cheetah pace to me.
But we were both at conversation pace, laughing and carrying on like old friends. I still can not believe God put her in my path! I look back over the last few weeks that we have been running and know she is a gift from God. The fact that she found me after 20 years running in the  BOSTON MARATHON was truly miraculous. Even after the marathon we didn't keep in contact till just a few weeks ago. She was reading my blog and that is how we reunited. See Danielle was burnt out after Boston. All that training and running had taken its toll. She needed a break. Almost 6 months she scaled back. Never totally stopping but she layed low.
Funny how I look at her running next to me. Her lean legs look like they are moving effortlessly. She looks like a Gazelle. Danielle is tall and slender. She runs so graceful, never missing a beat, almost like she is floating on the air. I feel like a bull. My body is feeling every step and I can hear my breath huffing and puffing into the brisk air. I can tell we are hustling but I am afraid to look at my watch. Afraid I am going slower that I feel like!
I look at Danielle and see her grab her side, I was comforted to know she was feeling a little pain.  I was struggling with a side stitch myself for a while now. But I was so happy to have her next to me, to push me to my limits, her company trumped my side stitch, my lack of oxygen and my sore legs.
She is like my gift from God. We run so well together. I started to whine about mile 6. "Are we almost to 6 miles yet? UGH!"
There is a steady incline at mile 7. We were moving. I decided to have a look. 7:45 minute miles. WOW! I haven't ran this hard in weeks.  Muscle Memory. Although for the last few weeks I have scaled back my body didn't forget what it was capable of. Dreading the hill, I fixed my eyes on the large oak tree over the top of it. All you could hear from her and I was our feet methodically hitting the ground and our heavy breathing reminding us we were not dead so we better run on!

We finished at a 6:40 pace out of breath, winded and sweaty. But we also finished thankful, blessed and proud of ourselves. Running together today made me soo thankful to have her. It not only motivated me today it also inspired me for our future together. I am Loving Danielle and her encouragement.
  "Enjoy your pain, you've earned it." - Anonymous



  1. you are too kind - it is you that help push me!! We are in this together!

  2. I just had to add, Anita makes running look effortless! I was thinking the same as she was - without Katie to help monitor the pace, Anita was going to seriously test my limits!! SHE is the one who has run a half marathon in 1:37, ANITA is the one who ran THE BOSTON MARATHON in 3:39, SHE is the one who runs thru pain and persists like noone I have ever known! I am in awe of her running profile, and feel honored to now be able to run with her! Her quiet confidence and strength radiate thru her vibrant smile and laughter. The pace we are able to run together is absolutely amazing. Without her,I am content to just "go for a run" not really looking at my watch. With her, I am still content to just "run" but when I look at my watch when we are done, I am amazed at our pace! The time flies by as we talk about some old times, but mostly recent things like family and kids and the usual daily routines of a wife and mother. I admire you Anita and THANK GOD for you and our time together :)