"PERFECT RUNNING CONDITIONS"
These 3 words have entered into my mind so many times in my life as a runner, I've lost count. This was my high school coach's favorite saying. Don Timm has now coached at Coon Rapids High School for 40 years and I was fortunate enough to be around to learn from him for 4 years. This saying was simple but said what kind of mentality we should have as runners...it doesn't matter what the weather is like, today is a perfect day to run.
From Grandma's 2007 when the heat took me down to Twin Cities 2008 when I thought I was going to freeze to death from the cold driving rain and wind, what a difference a new mental focus can bring. I was easily beaten by the heat in 2007, but in 2008, the rain did not stop me.
Leading up to the race in October 2008, I had been preparing for quite some time. I spent 10 months just getting healthy and pain-free after the debacle in Duluth, dealing with hamstring and back issues. I was finally healthy and had a great summer of training and had even gotten my first teaching job straight out of college. The Twin Cities Marathon came a mere one month into my career as a teacher. It had been a stressful final month since I was so new to where I was living and working, but I came into the race knowing I was ready, and I came in with a mentality that I wasn't going to let any little things prevent me from giving my all.
The race began like most Twin Cities Marathons do, nice and cool, a lot of energy at the start. About 3 miles in though, the rains came. And shortly after the wind picked up. It never let up until well after I had crossed the finish line. Most of this race is a blur to me, but I do remember the constant sound of my shoes slapping the soaking wet pavement under my feet, step after step, for nearly 3 hours.
I came across the line exhausted in 3:10:52, requalifying for the Boston Marathon, and only 5 seconds off of my best time on the TCM course. The exhaustion soon turned to literal sickness. About 3 days later, I became very sick, something I dealt with for well over a week after the race.
The scripture I had kept in my mind leading up to this race and throughout the race itself was Philippians 4:13, which says, "I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength." If I am committed to God and trust Him with everything I do, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, dwells inside of me...that's pretty powerful stuff if you ask me. I worked hard during this time in my life, not just for this marathon, but to finish college, to get a teaching job, etc. Putting my full trust in God led me to this point, and I was so thankful.