"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Double Marathon Challenge

On your mark...get set...go! I'm off on a double marathon challenge. Okay, not exactly 52.4 miles of actual running, but a summons that will require just about that much perseverance and determination.

It started two months ago when my husband and I were watching recaps of the Boston Marathon after my two pre-schoolers went to bed. I always feel a certain victory when I see those resolute, tired bodies crossing the finish line. And I'm not just talking about Teyba Erkesso, the amazing Ethiopian who ran the race in a little under two and a half hours. I'm talking about the sixty-nine-year-old father pushing his paraplegic son in a wheelchair up Heartbreak Hill, the two Marines in full gear helping a tired young woman complete the last mile, the dogged runner determined to finish--even beneath the moon.

I used to think I'd run a marathon one day. You know, in the future, when I get around to it. Well, that was ten years ago when I ran cross-country in high school and honey, I ain't gettin' any younger. ;) So instead of dismissing the idea, that night, I embraced it. That's it. My epiphany in front of the plasma.

Why do we so often sweep our dreams under the carpet, as if they don't matter--as if we don't matter? Are we too tired? Afraid of failure? Not willing to put in the necessary work?

Whatever the reason, I'm hoping to dispell some of their weighty limitations in my own head with this challenge. A Pastor I recently listened to said "It takes more faith to work with God than to sit back and wait for a miracle." Okay, God. I'm ready to work.

So here is the first part of my Double Marathon Challenge: finish the Amica Marathon in Newport, Rhode Island on October 17th with a Boston Marathon qualifying time. Yikes! Did I really just write that? Already I'm being bombarded by doubts. That's a time of 3hours, 40 minutes. Less than 8.5 minute miles. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I should just keep the challenge at finishing the marathon. The stakes are too high. The risk of putting myself out there and being humiliated are too great. Failure is imminent.

Or is it? I guess I'll never know unless I try. So here...I...go!

I'll tell you about the second part of my Double Marathon Challenge--which actually has nothing to do with running--in my next post.

Meanwhile, what has God put on your heart to accomplish this summer, this year, this lifetime?


  1. Hi Heidi! What a great challenge :) My husband set himself the challenge of doing the Grand Canyon,rim to rim in one day this past month. He did it! (Yes, I died 1000 deaths waiting for him to come up out of the canyon.) You totally can do it. I'm excited for you.

    My challenge for myself this summer, lose another 10 pounds or so (I've lost 75 this year)and finish revising novel #1 then start revising #2. Get an agent, obtain a contract. That's MY marathon. Nice to meet you!

  2. Wow, Katie! Good for your husband! And yes, your challenge really does sound like a marathon! :) Nice meeting you too!

  3. Hi Heidi! I'm impressed...and excited! Thanks for including us as you challenge yourself in this way. You GO GIRL!!!...AD

  4. That is so awesome! I actually just started the Jeff Galloway marathon program. I'm really slow, but I want to run my first marathon hopefully in January. Here's to both of us! :)

  5. Heidi.. you have always impressed me! I hope the road is easy on you and the sights are wonders to behold! Uncle Mark and I are here to cheer you on. Proud of you. Love Aunti Deb :-)

  6. For additional inspiration, read John "The Penguin" Bingham's books. He has a number of books I've read: The Courage to Start, No Need for Speed, and one other I can't remember.

  7. Thank you all so much for your sweet encouragement!
    Bonnie--I'm adding those books to my rather long 'to read' list. Looking forward to them! Thank you!

  8. Hey Heidi! Saw this link on Krystal's facebook...I have always wanted to run a marathon and I'm so impressed with your goal of having a qualifying time for Boston!! Do it for the mommies!!! Best of luck Heidi! I look forward to seeing your progress...maybe it will give me the push to get on it myself. -Kerri Grandmont

  9. Hi Kerri! It's so nice to hear from one of my fellow cross-country runners! Thanks for your encouragement, and if you do ever decide to do a marathon, let me know...maybe we can run it together. Keep in touch!