A race to remember...

Posted by Heather Conrad at 9:31 PM

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Last Friday, I popped in for a few minutes between several different school activities, and Aaron greeted me with "that look". Uhhhh-o, I thought. "Heather, what do you think about me running a marathon on Sunday with my sister?" My response - "Uhhhhh, noooo!" (Sadly, not the best wife moment). Seeing the deflated body language was evidence enough. As I began to "explain" my reaction - the training required, my protective nature, the ramifications on his body :), I could tell this response wasn't what he had expected.

Off I went to help out with the preschool Field day that afternoon. Not sure if it was the combination of amazingly beautiful weather, the chance to jump on an inflatable with darling 3-5 year olds for two hours, or simply too much sun, but I began to sing a different tune. If I had my cell phone on me at the time I would have called right there, but instead, I needed to wait. I was so filled with joy about the chance to pour some encouragement and life into my husband (a very privileged role reserved just for us wives!) I was elated to share of my excitement in encouraging him to call, register, and simply go-for-it, why not. He had trained well and experienced a half-marathon race not to long ago, worse case he would need to walk for part of it - but He would finish! I just knew it! This was a prayer answered, I had been talking to God about my reaction, so I knew this was from Him. AND, not only did I have a peace about this decision, I too felt like he was opening up an opportunity for us to experience this together. Amazing!

With plans we previously discussed with my parents (who still live in the house where I grew up in Cleveland), what began with thoughts of ways we could support Aaron's sister Tina as she trained for this race diligently, one thing led to anther, and there were were, 7am Sunday morning, sharing the experience together.

Some special highlights of the day:

  • Hearing "Cleveland Rocks" as the buzzer sounded at the start of the race.

  • Cool weather, beautiful skies, wonderful views of Lake Erie

  • Being separated from Aaron for a short bit, only to reverse and run against the crowd so I could find Him again, being apart was just unthinkable.

  • As we headed over an inclined bride, hearing the words, "Have I told you I love you today?"

  • Hearing random tunes being belted out by my husband, "All you single ladies..."

  • Cheering crowds, one group chanting, "You, you got what I need...."

  • Feeling the fatigue at mile 18... only to realize there were still 8 miles to go... hearing the amazing encouragement of my rookie husband!

  • Starting to believe we would actually survive the last 3 miles, amazed that he can still make me laugh through it all (including 3 child labors)

  • Heading down the homestretch, envisioning the smiles and cheers of our 3 precious treasures, my parents, and my sister Lindsey.

  • Crossing the finish line, holding hands, being announced as the "happy couple"

Overriding theme of the day - God is so good. He defies human logic. He gave me a peace about the decision, and a joy through all the pain. He allowed me to experience this with my best friend. He sustained me. He gave us strength. To Him be the glory. It can't be explained any other way. Aaron and I talked about it the entire 2 hour ride home, and we're still reflecting on it 2 days later. Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him! Now off to take some more advil...


Anonymous said...

Heather, I loved this blog. I love your attitude, your support and encouragement of your husband and the fact that you gave God praise and glory! What a great blog! You and your husband are on my regular read list! Thanks for sharing with the blog-world!!!

The Country Mouse said...

I was at a chorus contest and was sleeping in the hotel right next to "Cleveland Rocks!" that morning. :)

Jenn said...

Amazing and inspiring. What a great moment to share with your husband. To God be the glory!

Jenn Voight

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Heather! Love this!!! So glad that y'all did this incredible marathon monster together!! What a beautiful memory! You rock!!

Isn't is amazing that God gives us this incredible body with the ability to run? And for that distance! If we can somehow share His love during the race,the pain is all worthwhile! (I still love my advil!!)


Melanie Dusseau said...

Heather! You are so Amazing! This was such a neat experience. Thank you for sharing!