No, I didn't win $10,000...but I did run (and walk) my first 10K last weekend. For those of you who know me well, you know that I detest running. It all started in January when my good friend Lisa suggested that all of us girls run in the Flying Pig 10K in Cincinnati. We all agreed and the training started. Well, if you could call it training. The most I have ever ran was around the bases in softball. So, this was a challenge for me. I started slow, walking most of the time and running a little bit. Over time the running increased, and so did my shin splints. Apparently, that is something else that I get from my father. In February I did 6 miles in 1.5 hours and I knew I had to train harder if I was going to get through this! A few weeks before the race, I did get out more and just hoped for the best.

My goal of the weekend was to complete the 6.2 miles, in less than 1.5 hours. That is all I wanted. When we were waiting for the race to begin, it was pooring rain. Not just a drizzle, a heavy rain that the wind was blowing sideways. I prayed the whole time that God would hold it off just long enough to complete the race. I was nervous enough and didn't want the rain on top of it! As soon as we started the rain subsided and didn't rain again until we were leaving for the car! Yes, that is God. The coolest thing about the race were the people. Several times I almost got very emotional because there were people out there cheering us on. It was cold and wet, but they were out there encouraging people they didn't even know. That is what kept me going. In mile 3, two of my friends were waiting there and that really kept me going. My shins were so sore, but my friend said "you can do this - keep going!". Just what I needed to hear at that point in time (thanks Jody).

This got me thinking. In life there are times when we could give up. Times when we don't want to go on and complete the race. That is when we need our friends and family there encouraging us on. Giving us words to lift our spirits, and that are there congratulating us when we complete the race. We also need to be that friend to others. We need to be the encourager at times and lift others up. Don't get so lost in your own life that you forget about those around you. Even people you don't know. God could use you to encourage someone and you don't even know it. I have no doubt that God put these people in my life for a reason and used them for me to complete the race. I did complete it in 1:23 and God was with me the entire way. It was an amazing feeling crossing the finish line and knowing I completed the race and met my goals, with amazing friends there along the way.