2 Timothy 4:7 says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” I can only hope that I have shown myself to have been successful, by God’s grace, in doing exactly this. I want to be God’s disciple proving my love, such as that shown in Hebrews 12:1, where it says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
If you are new to this blog, I’ll give you the shortest version of the back story that I can. I was in a near-fatal car accident on August 28, 2012. Prior to that accident, I was a runner. The doctors told me I would probably walk in the spring of 2013, but that I’d probably never run again due to my injuries and the hardware still in my body. For the rest of the story, feel free to check out “My Story” at the top menu.
In a moment of being “out-of-my-mind-crazy” in November of 2013, I came up with the idea of proving those doctors wrong by taking on 14 half marathons in 2014! I had done a total of 14 half marathons in the entire three years I had been running, so why couldn’t I do just that many in one year? I mean, hey, I was barely walking and still had tons of pain at that point. Then I started thinking about how expensive 14 half marathons would be, especially considering we were still catching up on bills from the accident.
Before before the weekend was over, I had sent over 20 emails to race directors on various race internet sites. I shared the story of what I was doing prior to the accident, what happened in the accident, and what I was hoping to achieve in 2014. I also included a few photos – one of the smashed car, one of the x-ray of my open book pelvic fracture and one semi-graphic picture of me with my injuries.
I confessed my weekend shenanigans to my family afterwards not expecting to hear back from anyone, but to my surprise, within a month, I was registered for 15 half marathons and 3 combination races in 2014! I couldn’t believe the generosity of so many race directors and encouraging words! It blew my mind! I think my family was a little nervous for me, since it was obvious to them that I wasn’t thinking very clearly!
And so 2014 began.
On January 5 2014, I was to do the 30th Annual DeLeon Springs Half Marathon in Deleon Springs State Park. At the time I had a zillion reasons I couldn’t do the race, but looking back now, I know it was all about fear.
The full review of each of the 14 half marathons I completed is on the top menu under running you’ll see “14 Half Marathons in 2014“. I won’t go through each and every race here since you can read about them there, but I will say this: I saw God’s hands carrying me, pushing me, dragging me and otherwise getting me across each and every one of those finish lines. There were so many times I almost gave up, but I knew I had made this commitment, I had asked for His guidance and I had to trust Him.
There were a lot of changes going on in my life over the course of this year. I was a leader in a church ministry that met every Monday night. There was no way I could continue working all day, driving straight to church for band practice while eating and changing clothes in the car, practicing, playing the drums with the praise team, and staying for the service every Monday night while trying to train. I stepped down from the group and it was a very hard choice. I was also a leader of a ministry that gathered on the fourth Saturday of every month to assist the underprivileged in our community, and it required a lot of my time….. time I didn’t have. The other problem was that some of my races were on those same Saturdays. I stepped down from that group and it was another hard choice.
So many people have asked me what is on the schedule for 2015. I can promise you I’m not changing this blog site to 15 in 2015 because I’m definitely not planning on doing 15 half marathons in 2015. I was thinking I would do a full marathon at Disney in January, but unfortunately, I didn’t train for it, so I took a deferral on it. I will re-evaluate this registration later on in the year and see if I’ll be ready for a full or if I change it to a half marathon. I’m just not sure right now, and I don’t have to be.
I’m very excited to be an Official Ambassador for my hometown race, the 2015 Cleveland Marathon (which includes the half marathon, a 10K, a 5k and a kids’ run). The race is the weekend of May 16-17, 2015, and I will be posting my training for this race from now until race day. I am planning on this race being what we love to call a “race-cation”. That means I’m making a mini-vacation of it so I can visit my son, Mike and his wife, Amy, and my one and only grandson, Dylan. I will visit other family still living in Ohio as time permits. Between me and you, anyone from Ohio – sign up for this race – do the 5k, the 10k, the half marathon or the full marathon – and somehow we will find time to connect that weekend! Registration is open already so sign up —–> HERE.
Also for 2015, my goal is to focus on getting stronger in my running and in my walk with God. I am going to work hard on making better food choices AND work harder to focus on my training. I have declared it “work on Debi from the inside out” year and I suppose that is going to be what I call my New Year’s Resolution.
Thanks for following along on my journey! I continue to reflect on Phillippians 4:13 that says “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”. I will continue to try and use the gifts God has given me to the best of my ability, and I can only hope I will inspire someone to make a positive change in their lives.