The training miles are done. Like 30,000 other runners I followed a 16-week program that started out with few miles and peaked at 2 twenty-mile runs and then tapered off. We run with little variation from programs like these since they are scientifically proven to get you ready for the big day. The marathon. 26.2 miles. Boston!
For 16 weeks, at our maternity center, different women reached their 40-week mark of pregnancy-swollen and ready, but not a one of them went into labor before a long run. A runner’s sleep and food are as important as the footfalls on the road. Not a run was interrupted. So different than last year when we could count on labors every weekend. The forces that bring about labor stayed still while I labored on the roads.
As is true in all of our journeys through life, some runs were easy and some were incredibly difficult. Each step was labored and awkward. Without reason my body, breath and soul found each step like lumbering through water and mud. Some days were just off. I had to push through. That’s where heaven steps in.
Other runs were easy, or sort of. As ultra-marathoner Barry McDonald reminded me, “Most runs are hard”. Indeed they are. Life is hard. Indeed it is. We push on, and that’s the point. The key is to run on with joy and with eyes to see the mile markers of God along the way.
In every marathon the miles are marked. Each runner counts them down as they run. From 1 to 26 to the finish, the mile markers are beacons of progress. The math gets blurry around mile 18 and the one thing you know to do is to keep pushing ahead, keep moving forward. Am I at 17 or 19? Did I pass 18 yet? Just keep plodding, one foot in front of the other and eventually a sign pops up.
My mile markers were many through this journey. Others labored with me and held my hand and kept my feet moving. When I was faltering on a road of puddles and mud (literally) my friend, Tara, stepped in as coach and changed the road and the plan. It made all the difference.
Week after week, without fail, my fellow midwife Beth KJ would wake in the night and send me applicable Scriptures to wake up to before running. Over and over I would sing, chant and recite those heavenly words. Apples of gold in settings of silver. The spiritual Gator-aid.
Troy and John did drop off and picks ups so we could run on better roads and avoid the mud, traffic and diesel on our local roads.
Mid-stream I needed to remind myself why I am doing this. I’m doing this because we face evil, we don’t let bombs stop us and we come back when terror visits our lives. I’m doing this to raise awareness for Heartline. That every day women, against all odds, get up, have their babies, raise their children, learn to read, learn to sew, learn to cook and grab hold of success! Every day young men start up the ovens, shape the bread and learn the skills of life while they sell the bread of life. Every day Haitian women and men who have found their way to Heartline succeed. I run to shout their names and support their efforts to have a normal, successful life.
I’m asking if you will give money for every mile marker I pass on the Boston Marathon on April 21st. Haitian men and women face a marathon of their own each day trying to find work, feed their families and keep a home together. Heartline helps them to do this. Will you support them with us?
As we celebrate Easter I’ll be eating pasta rather than the traditional turkey in preparation for the marathon the next day. Christ is risen and that gives us the power to run whatever marathon life gives us. Let’s join together and help Heartline help Haiti!
Port au Prince, Haiti
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