Run the Race

Jul 7

(Amanda, Me, Mary Ann)

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1 NIV


I did it.  I met one of my life goals.  I ran the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race.  With 55,000 runners, the Peachtree holds the title of the world’s largest 10K.  What an exciting day it was! 


Gradual beeping woke me from what seemed a moment’s sleep.  4:00 a.m.  Time to get up.  As I stumbled to the shower, I berated myself for not taking one the night before and affording myself a few extra moments slumber.  But it took those first warm sprays to aid in the opening of my eyes.  Am I crazy?  Can I really do this?  What was I thinking?  Will I even finish?  This is it.  My mind raced in anticipation. 


In a blink, I was showered and dressed in my best sporting goods selections from the night before, except for the shoes.  My old ones would have to carry me just a bit further.  With a little bit of old and a little bit of new, I was ready.  My girlfriends arrived in the darkness, both sleepy and giddy at the same time.  The first to make an appearance was Mary Ann, one of my forever best friends whose friendship has lasted a lifetime.  Then was Amanda, one of my closest newer friends who is the sweeter, skinnier version of me.  A bit of the old and a bit of the new, we set off.


We packed onto the MARTA rail to zap us downtown.  Soon we arrived and were herded with the other thousands down streets closed off to those without running shoes and chest numbers.  The wait to begin was long.  But eventually, we moved.  Start and stop.  Start and stop.  Our group was at the end of the 55,000.  We played stop and go for ¾ of a mile before we even reached the starting line. 


And we were off.  Sort of.  Bodies packed and heads bobbing up and down as they jogged in place.  Nowhere to go.  Gradually, we moved and thinned until each could stretch their legs into a comfortable pace. 


Each mile came slower than the next.  Just keep moving.  If you can’t run, walk.  I kept myself going, stopping only momentarily to grab a cup of water.  The praise music lifted my soul.  I thanked God for allowing me to meet this goal. 


As I neared the finish, the words to the song “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” stuck with me.  “Here I raise my Ebenezer; here by Thy great help I’ve come.”  The Ebenezer stone is referenced in 1 Samuel. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.” (1Samuel 7:12 NIV) 


Over a year ago I shared a dream with the Lord; my dream of wanting to run this race.  As I passed mile marker six, I looked at the sights and sounds around me and marveled.  My eyes spilled with gratitude as I crossed over the FINISH.  My hands rose holding my imaginary Ebenezer and my heart cried out, “Thus far has the Lord helped me.” 


Oh, thank you Lord for acknowledging my dream and helping me to accomplish it.  Thank you for giving me the strength to run the race set out for me.  What a mighty God we serve!

p.s. I’m taking a vacation from blogging this week while my husband is home.  We’ve got lots of summer fun planned with the kids.  I’ll see you next week!

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  • Janet Roller Jul 7 at 5:42 am

    WHOOHOO! I’m so proud of you!

  • Amy Wyatt Jul 7 at 11:02 am

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment. I will definitely know it is the Lord’s idea if I decide to run it 🙂
    Will miss you blogging this week. Have a fun vacation at home with the kids and Alan.

  • The Stokes Family Jul 7 at 12:19 pm

    It WAS awesome, wasn’t it! Thank you for encouraging me to push through and do the race to the best of my ability NOW, even though I was not well prepared. And I’ll say it again, just for the record–I am SO PROUD OF YOU!


  • Michelle Jul 7 at 3:47 pm

    Way to go!! That race is even tougher with the heat and humidity of Atlanta. Congratulations! Enjoy your summer fun with family this week!

  • Tracy Jul 7 at 4:29 pm

    Congratulations Carol! I came to you by way of a comment you left for me a week or so ago on the Beth Moore/old man post…(I’m a bit behind). Wow, is this inspiring! How precious of the Lord to grant you the ability to make this dream a reality.

    Enjoy your week off with your family…looking forward to stopping by again, soon! = )


  • ocean mommy Jul 7 at 5:03 pm

    WAY TO GO!!!!!

    I’m framing that verse from Hebrews for Chad’s b’day this week. It will go on the wall opposite the treadmill so he can see it when he runs.

    Also, the Ebenezer verse! THAT is one of my all time favorite verses. 🙂

    I’m so proud of you all for doing this…you inspire me in so many different ways!

    Have a great week..


  • Christina Jul 8 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations. What an awesome accomplishment. It sounds thrilling the way you describe it. Do you think you would do this again?

    Have a nice bloggy break.

  • Sita Jul 8 at 5:07 pm

    A sense of accomplishment is one of the greatest feelings a person can have. [I miss that emotion as a stay-at-home mom where nothing I do is ever ‘finished’.] Especially when you acknowledge that it is in His strength you persevered, you conquered. Encouraging. Have a wonderful vacation.
    Love, Sita

  • Laurie Ann Jul 8 at 6:49 pm

    Congratulations on your accomplishment, Carol! Enjoy your vacation…

  • Darlene Jul 8 at 9:19 pm

    YEAH!! Congratulations! That is a great accomplishment.
    Getting on the Marta and finding your way around …scored points with me. LOL
    My first experience was at Deeper Still a couple of weekends ago.

    Enjoy your break…we will miss you!

  • elaine @ peace for the journey Jul 9 at 1:06 am

    I celebrate this milestone with you. Keep running. Your next one will seem like a breeze!


  • Kelley Jul 9 at 3:59 am

    I can see you smiling so BIG in that picture!! Good for you, I think what you did is AWESOME!! I just posted on running yesterday but I have never attempted more than a 5K. A 10K is a really big accomplishment. Enjoy your time this week, you have more than earned it!


  • Kimberly Jul 9 at 7:01 pm

    Way to go, Carol! That is so awesome! A 10K!!! I am winded after 10 MINUTES! 🙂

    Enjoy your break with your hubby and your kids! That is such precious time!

  • Xandra@Heart-of-Service Jul 10 at 1:19 am

    OK…you officially rock my face off! That is AWESOME! Congratulations!!!


  • Peggy Jul 11 at 7:34 pm

    Way to GOOOOOOOO! Carol! Congrats!
    You should be smiling from ear to ear from now til next year! That is aMazing…though I can hardly see any reason to have a goal of running 10k…I’d be glad if I could walk half that! To answer your early morning questions: YES…crazy! Yes…YOU CAN but why?
    Who knows what you were thinking?
    YES…you will finish…eventually
    (lol) the spiritual applications are HUGE on this one! The adventure…one in a million…at least for me…enjoy your time with hubby…2nd honeymooning?!!!

    I think I saw something by you at Internet Cafe. Now I have to go back & check cuz I came here to see
    instead of writing comment there.
    If so, I’m praying for your friend
    that wanted to call it quits…I once was in a place such as that!
    I pray that she is getting help and support from loved ones. Usually it is too overwhelming!
    If you have no idea what I’m talking about go read Internet Cafe:(by Carol?)
    The Game of Life…Jul.11th/10th?
    Life is not really a’s a gift. And she is a valuable part!
    So are you, my friend! Blessings!

  • Toknowhim Jul 11 at 10:29 pm

    Awesome… I have always wanted to run a race too… Thanks for sharing your story..

  • DeAnna Jul 14 at 2:23 am

    I am soooo proud of you and Amanda for sticking with it and running even though you didn’t quite prepare as planned. What an accomplishment!!!

  • Anonymous Jul 19 at 12:39 pm

    I just found out what a 10 6 miles…

    I am so proud of you, you have inspired me to do more,…to even know that excists…and to know it is possible it not untouchable way out their…

    if we train our minds..and our bodies..and only with the Lords grace to do that..and inspire us…WOW>….I woulnt have run without you….I said wow…thats neat… I want to do that….
    THnak you for setting the path…and let me believe…
    I love you so much

    so proud of you getting up early, remind us lets talk about it….

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