John 10:10 - "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."
From the end of the 2005 Boston Marathon until the Twin Cities Marathon in October 2005, a lot changed in my life, good and bad. First, the bad. I was so motivated to redeem myself from the debacle that Boston had been that I signed up for Twin Cities right away and started training hard. I began training so hard that I developed a stress fracture in my shin (2nd time I've done this). It set me back a lot and I had to stop running for over a month in the heart of marathon training. I knew that if I was going to be able to race in October that I would not be setting a P.R. Accepting that fact was probably a blessing in disguise.
The good that happened goes back almost a year to my first marathon. I had begun to really explore who God is and in July 2005 I accepted Christ into my life. This was a huge shift in my life. It didn't change overnight, but pretty soon I was changing my priorities and a lot of my decisions were affected by this (in a positive way). It led me to a new church that to this day has truly allowed me to grow in my faith, and I have found so many of my best friends through this church. It's also a place that my entire family has come to find God and develop a relationship with Him. I could never have dreamed of all of this. Honestly, I don't know if it would have happened if I had spent the entire summer of 2005 singularly focused on my marathon training. If you've trained for a marathon before, you know how easily it can consume you...your time, your thoughts, everything. Without that injury, I don't know if I would have been able to turn my focus to other things like God. Today, I'm able to use my marathon training as a way to worship God (more on that in my future marathon posts).
Twin Cities 2005 was truly a moment of running with true joy. I knew I wasn't going to run a super fast time (relatively speaking, I know) but I was going to enjoy the race on the greatest marathon course. I truly did enjoy it. I felt God's presence throughout the race. Coming across the finish line in 3:15:06 was exhilarating, knowing how much I had gone through just to get healthy again.