Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Back At It!

At the starting line, in the cool of the morning, the excitement and anticipation and nerves were palpable as we sang the Star Spangled Banner...that act of being an American and considering all that the flag represents gets me teary every time. And then immediately after, a minister got up to give the invocation.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to be here.
Thank you for healthy bodies....

And then I completely lost it. Those words, so weighty. Yes, I'm here. Yes, I have a healthy body. My heart was so full, so grateful...I was a sobbing mess right there at the starting line, pressed in by the crowd. As the gun sounded and for the next 13.1 miles my mantra became those words over and over and over.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to be here.
Thank you for a healthy body.

A healthy body, yes though it came at a price. My body is riddled with scars, each one telling a piece of the journey I've been on. Rather than allow those scars and "imperfections" to define me, most days I choose to let them serve as a reminder that I am here, alive for another day. That I am brave and strong. That I am a miracle.

Seven months ago I had fairly major surgery involving my leg that left me on the couch recuperating for a couple months. Finally in June I got the "all clear" from my doctors to start resuming most activities. I thought the Hartford Half would be a good goal because of the time of year and convenient location so I mapped out a training schedule. Much of my training was hard and effort-full and joy-less and I got way more excited than I should have on rest days.

The day before I did my final long run of training, I asked Shaun if he thought it would be ok to bail on the race. He gently encouraged me to persevere, believing that it could be used to inspire someone who needed it. That maybe someday I'll be able to walk the halls of the 15th floor at Sloan where I once had trouble walking with a walker and two men supporting me and tell a patient, it WILL get better. Someday, if you want to, you'll even be able to run. I've been where you are and its going to be ok.

What teenager gets up at 7AM on a Saturday morning to stand out in the cold watching thousands of runners?? My niece Maddy! And my sister Amy somehow found me early along the race route. So fun to see them and they were so encouraging!

Crossing the finish line was emotional. So many feelings that cannot even be expressed with words Mostly just a full, grateful heart.

My dad and Kiki rode their bikes into the starting/finish park area, sporting their "Lisa Strong" shirts that were made for me two years ago with my marathon running picture.

Because training was so hard, I really wasn't sure what to expect for a finish time. I was thinking 2:30 wouldn't be unreasonable and I would be satisfied with 2:15. I started off at a fairly easy pace and just kept feeling stronger and stronger. With about 3 miles to go, I decided to just go for it, figuring if worse came to worse, I could just walk the remainder. My final official time was 2:06:06 (all even numbers :) and I'm really happy with it. Mostly it just felt amazing to be back out there.

Its been very much a team effort to get me from where I was two years ago to this point. With overwhelming love and gratitude, thank you Team Lisa for being there!


Meg A. said...

So proud of your perseverance and discipline...doing the hard even when you don't have to. SO grateful for the way you use your story to glorify Him and help others...SO grateful you're here. Love you, big!!!

Melody said...

Wow, you totally rocked it! So proud of you! You are brave and strong and inspiring!

Michele said...

Proud of you Lisa! Inspiring for sure. Tears of pure joy reading this post. To God be all the glory!

Amy said...

You did it! You did it! You did all of it! You battled and persevered and overcame. You slayed the giant! You did it! So proud of you!!!!

lily said...

You amaze me with your endurance and perseverance and your fight to overcome any obstacle! We are all so proud of you and thank the Lord for your life and light in this world. xoxo

The Bug said...

You are amazing! I feel as proud as if you were my daughter :)

Amy Joy said...

Agreed with what my Mom and Meg said. Just tears over here. So thankful for and so inspired by you! xo