Today I ran my second half marathon. I knew going in that there would be hills—I even heard that there was a three mile incline. I was nervous. Conquering the hills, though, was something I needed to do.
I was on the cross country team in my senior year of high school. I joined the team because I wanted to be active and that was the sport I could do that time of the year.
Before cross country, I had never run. I started with running one mile, then slowly working my way up to running 6 miles. I wasn’t a very fast runner, and my biggest achievement was placing 20th on one of our meets (I actually got a ribbon for it).
One of the worst meets I had was at our home meet. I was doing fine until I came upon a very large hill. I tried my best to run it, but I couldn’t. I cried because I was so disappointed in myself.
I felt that running the Flying Pig Half Marathon was a way of redeeming me for that disappointing run back in high school.
The half marathon started with a run over the bridge into Kentucky and back.
Eventually, I faced the “king of all hills”—the hill that leads up to Eden Park. I started running this hill and I was fine for a little while but two-thirds of the way up I had to walk because I felt like I was going to pass out. Finally, I reached the top. It was so beautiful to see the river below. I started to run again. Going downhill was incredible—I sprinted.
There were more hills, all relatively smaller than the one I just climbed and I ran those. Then I came to the 12 mile mark. I was tired but it was almost over. I tried to keep my pace but I was slowing down. I was jogging now.
That felt like the longest mile, but then I saw the “Finish Swine” (aka “Finish Line”) in the distance. There was a slight incline to get there but I kept going forward and I sped up.
I heard the crowd cheering and wondered what was going on. I looked to my left and saw the first marathon runner arriving. That was neat.
I crossed the “finish swine” and got my medal. I felt like crying because I was so happy.
I may not have finished at the time I wanted, but I felt I accomplished a lot—I finally felt vindicated. I ran several hills and I made it to the finish line!
“…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith… those who trust in the Lord will find new strength… They will run and not grow weary” (Hebrews 12:1-2, Isaiah 40:31, NLT).