A Runner’s Purpose

April 2010 marked the beginning of my competitive running career. In the last sixteen months, I’ve competed in seventeen races; one 5K obstacle course, ten regular 5K’s, two 4 Milers, two 10K’s and two half marathons. Not only are the races fun and a great workout, but proceeds from the registrations fees go to support good causes; adoption, scholarship funds, cancer support, families of firefighters who die in the line of duty, school athletic programs, and that just covers a few. I started running competitively because I wanted to, but I’ve kept running to bring glory to God.

When I first started running I never dreamed I’d run further than a few miles. But God’s plans are so often much different than our plans. One morning during my workout I started thinking about distance running. I thought, “I wonder if I’d ever be able to run ten miles?” “Nah.” It wasn’t a week later that a friend posted on twitter asking for runners to join her in the http://www.marathonforadoption.com. At the time our pastors http://morelovetogive.com were planning to adopt a child from Ukraine. Funds raised via the race would help offset their adoption expenses. The thought of running 13.1 miles made me want to vomit, but I registered anyhow. Six runners from our church http://theriverstonechurch.com participated in that race. Waiting for us at the finish line, just back from Ukraine, were our pastors with their two new daughters, Olivia Kate and Natalia Rose. Hanging proudly on my cubicle wall is a picture of me and the girls from that day.

There are all types of runners. Me? I’m a slow, distance runner, but after running my second half marathon, and taking 10 minutes off of my time, I decided to train for speed. I spent several months trying to break a consistent 8 minute mile but I just could not do it. I could run a 7.5 minute mile, but maintaining it for an entire 5K was impossible. Frustrated. Frustrated. Frustrated. Not even in training did I once hit my target. As half marathon season began to roll around again, I started praying about what to do. Do I skip the half marathons this fall and focus on speed or do I revert back to what I know and do well? This really was a difficult decision as quitting is not in my nature. I didn’t want to give up speed work having not achieved my goal. There was also another issue, I had no intention of running the http://www.marathonforadoption.com again this year. “I” wanted to run the Tyler Rose Half Marathon. “I” wanted to run the La Porte Bridge Half Marathon. Sense a theme here? The races are too close together for me to run them all, I had to choose.

Several weeks ago God gave me an answer. I picked up my race packet for the Dog Days 4 Miler in New Braunfels and tucked inside was a http://www.marathonforadoption.com postcard for this year’s race. Smiling at me were the beautiful faces of Olivia Kate and Natalia Rose, the former orphaned sisters rescued from Ukraine by our pastors. I began to weep and knew what God would have me to do. The next day I resumed my half marathon training work outs. This year I run http://www.marathonforadoption.com in support of Brian & Christy Guenther http://www.raisingthehope.com , and Wilson, the little boy they are adopting from Haiti. I run with purpose. I run for the glory of God.

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