The day before my first half marathon, and my nerves were really setting in last night and this morning. More excitement than anything I think. I drove the course this morning, plotting out water stations and scoping out the elevation. I gotta say it’s a beautiful course…starts on Market Street with an amazing view of the Arch, passes by Busch Stadium and the old courthouse building, City Museum, the Fox Theatre and the campus of SLU before heading south past the Botanical Garden and through Tower Grove Park, circling Lafayette Park and finishing back near the start line with another great view of the Arch in the background…not to mention all the beautiful neighborhoods with gorgeous architecture! The elevation is pretty level, with at least one awesome stretch of moderate downhill for about a half mile near mile six. All uphill runs are short, a block or two at most. The pavement is uneven…potholes and sewer covers abound. For the last six miles of the course, I had two cars following me, doing the same thing. Haha.

Afterward, I went through the expo, registered and picked up my bib, swag bag and freebies. Got checked into the hotel, ate a sub sandwich for lunch, picked your mom up from work and finished up some last minute errands before settling into the room for a few hours for some stretching and a short nap. We walked up Market Street to scope out the start/finish area for your mom, and one carb-filled meal and a snack later, I’m laying down for the night, what I pray is a restful night.

God has eased my anxiety, removed the nervousness and replaced it with a confidence in knowing I’ve done all I can to prepare. All my pre-race preparations are done. I’m physically prepared. I’m mentally ready. Over 160 miles ran in 4 months. Running in the heat. Running in the humidity. Running in the rain. Running in the cold. Running in the cold rain. Waking up to run in the wee hours of the morning before the birds are even awake. Staying up to run late at night. Running through the pain. Repeatedly pushing my body past the point of exhaustion and failure. Countless hours of training my mind to accept a new comfort zone. And baby, it all comes down to this!!! One race and only 13.1 miles stand between me and the finish line. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Donald Walsch

No matter where I place or how well I do, I’m already a winner. I’m walking alongside Christ in this life, secure in my eternal destination. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”Phil 3:12-14.

I am not yet the man God has called me to be…but I try every day to be him. With each day, I struggle to let more of me out and let more of Christ in. That is big part of what motivates me to keep running…with each pounding of my foot against the pavement, I envision my weakness and imperfections leaving my body and Christ’s love and strength replacing them. When I’ve fulfilled God’s purpose for my life here on Earth, He will call me home and I pray, reward me with seven words…”Well done my good and faithful servant.” Until then, “The Earth Is My Treadmill.”

Love,

Dad

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