My first long distance event was a half marathon. I started the race running at my pace that was comparable to most short runs I had run before and was feeling pretty good.  Then at the 10 mile marker, I hit what is known as the “runner’s wall.”  That is a term athletes use to describe the condition where they physically run out of steam.  I believed I cheated myself because I did not prepare like I should have for this event. 

 

 A month later I found myself standing at the starting line of a 15 miles event waiting for the sound of the horn to start.  This time I felt ready. I trained and read books/articles about the “how” of running long distances. I began the race feeling good and at the 5/10/12 mile marks, I was still feeling good, believing in my abilities and strengths.  Shortly after 13.5 miles, I hit the runner’s wall again, saying to myself, “Nooooo, not again.  How could this be?”  

 

At that moment I realized that I was leaning on my own strength and abilities. Why not lean on God who has blessed me with the capabilities to train for this race? I started to pray asking God for strength to complete the race.  The verse Philippians 4:13, “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" came to mind.  I began to whisper it; then my voice got louder and louder and pretty soon I began to sing it like a cadence.  I got stronger and stronger not even worrying about all the pain I felt a few minutes ago.    My strength was renewed and my faith was increased.  Believing and trusting in how God works bolsters our belief and gives us hope and strength reminding us that we are never alone.

Marcus Stubblefield

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