I was one of approximately 36,000 entrants who participated in the Chicago Marathon this past Sunday. (Over 45,000 registered for the event, but 10,000 had the good sense to stay home in the sweltering heat). This was the 30th anniversary of this great race and my first marathon.

During the two weeks leading up to the marathon, I was not sure if I was going to compete or not. You see, earlier in the training season, in May, I suffered an knee injury and had been in physical therapy until early September. I wasn’t able to resume training until mid-September. I began walking and my longest walk had only been 7 miles.

Logic told me that I should abandon my dream and wait until next year to do the marathon. However, Friday night (Oct. 5), I was unable to sleep because although my head was telling me to stay home, my heart was saying “you can do it”. Saturday morning I prayed about it and asked the Holy Spirit to help me make the decision. I went down to pick up my bib and other entrance materials. I made up my mind that I was going to finish what I started… I would finish the marathon even though I was going to have to speed walk it. Once I committed to the decision, I knew that the Lord would bring me through it.

Completing this race has built my faith. You can believe that you can do something, but if you don’t “act” on that belief, that’s the faith part, then the belief really means nothing.

As you may have heard, for the first time in the history of the race, officials stopped the race after 3.5 hours due to extreme heat. I was able to make it past the half-way mark before we were told to turn around. I walked back to the finish line and officially finished the race. I’m so happy I decided to follow my dream. It was an exhilarating experience. It would have been nice to go the distance, but I have to admit, I was happy the officials stopped the race. It was extremely hot and the weather was beginning to take it’s toll on me. But I did it! I walked over 15 miles and crossed the finish line. I’ve got a beautiful medal to prove my participation. But most importantly my faith is strong and I know that with Christ I can do ALL things.

Maybe I’ll see you out on the walking trails or in a future marathon or half-marathon. I’m hooked.

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