A morning in Charlotte...

Posted by Heather Conrad at 3:31 PM

Monday, December 14, 2009

The graph you see above? As labeled, this is an elevation map. Aaron and I arrived at the Convention Center in Charlotte, NC last Friday night, preparing to pick up our race packets for the half-marathon race and immediately saw a T-shirt with this picture and this caption - FLAT IS FOR SISSIES. Enough said.

Yep, we're taking a whirl-wind tour of sorts - 5 races in 6 months. Some have asked me how I talked my husband into this, and I simply say, "On the contrary, it's the other way around." I am SO proud of Aaron, so thankful that the Lord has allowed us to travel this journey together, and has even brought about one of my heart's desires - to travel and "see", and that we are. Next month we fly to Phoenix, April we'll be in Nashville, May we land at the Indy 500 track, and perhaps even a re-show here in Columbus. As with anything else the Lord calls you to follow and obey, he provides it all. This would not be possible without the amazing hearts of our parents, friends, and even our live-in "teenager". I can't help but think that you might be wondering about a God-sized task in your own life. Take it from one who has a tendency to doubt and fear - the journey is completely worth it. It takes risk to trust, but the freedom that comes in knowing that the Lord's plan wins every time keeps me coming back for more - every time.

Memories of the race:

1. Waking up at 5:30 am, excited in anticipation of what the Lord had in store (no, I usually don't wake up at 5:30, let alone be excited about it.)

2. When packing, high priority - shoes, IPOD; no priority - ALL my bathrooms items. Luckily, it was a pony tail occasion and no make-up required.

3. Waiting in a warm hotel lobby, talking "race memories" with other fellow crazies before race time.

4. People - standing next to "Santa" pre-race time, getting passed by not 1, not 2, but 3 elves complete with jingle bells, a dog that barked from his porch in support, a man that yelled to the crowd, "Hey, my name is Joe, cheer for me!"

5. Signs - Breathe (I know I saw this same sign twice, just when I needed it), God 'heart' you (gave me goose bumps), a runner's shirt read, "Cheer for me, I'm getting married today."

6. I remember being separated from Aaron at a water stop, surrounded by people, and feeling as though a large part of me was missing.

7. Enjoying the downhills, preparing for the uphills.

8. Counting down the miles one by one, exciting to be nearing the finish, yet sad that it had come and gone so quickly.

9. Remembering the feeling of Aaron's hand in mine as we crossed the finish, blessed with an amazing time - 1:53.

Lord, I remember feeling disappointed at the start of the race. My body was feeling weak. I really wanted to be strong. Yet, Lord I remember telling you that I trusted in your plan for today. If this was your plan, I say again, I trust you. For I am learning, again, that in my weakness you are strong. I will take joy in this race today, thankful for the sheer ability to complete it. It's by no coincidence that I wore a shirt that stated, "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) I love you Jesus.