Miami Marathon Recap: It's Not Over

So almost any of you who follow me know today didn’t turn out as planned. I set out with the hopes of walking away with an Olympic Trials Qualifier.

That did not happen.

In fact, I didn’t even run a marathon.

I was so excited. I had met another elite and we were going to pace each other. We decided to start a little slow. It was warm (mid 70s at 6am), humid (90%), and windy (20+ mph) over the causeway. So we wanted to be conservative. It’s much better to save your energy. So I felt good starting off in the mid 6:30s feeling comfortable I could shave off the time. I felt GOOD. I was expecting to feel a little fatigued. I hadn’t felt great leading up to the race and once we started it hit me, I can do this. Mentally my head was strong too. I felt confident. I wasn’t obsessing about my time, but I was feeling good. I finally hit the beach and the wind was at my back. Thank goodness. I hit my stride. All of a sudden I was now running from a 6:15-6:20 and feeling strong. I kept seeing my friends and family cheering for me! YELLING! My heart was full of so much joy.

It was just unreal. I had been so nervous leading up to this race. I woke up this morning with a sense of peace that just flooded me. As I raced, that peace grew.

Rusty bought me this sweet bracelet. On it it says remember why.

He bought with the intention that I could look down at it as I raced and remembered why I was doing this. I looked at that thing several times and every time I smiled and thanked God. Then I would hear my friends scream and see them carrying signs of my face and I just LAUGHED.

It’s funny. I knew going into this race weather could really affect me. My asthma does not respond well to heat and humidity. My throat swells and I just can’t seem to get enough oxygen in. But there was something so special running at home. And I knew that I had to try this race.

As I sit back and think about it, these last 6 months have been amazing, hard, exhausting, draining, challenging, and joyful. I’ve had some setbacks. The anemia was rough and took sometime. Then I had to figure out a different race. Then I had to race in my least favorite conditions. And it’s easy to look and say, Why? I didn’t get my PR. I didn’t even run a marathon. No OTQ. How disappointing.

But you know what. I know why. It wasn’t to prove to myself I can run an OTQ. I know I can do that. It wasn’t to prove to the world what a badass, I am. It was simply a journey in which God wanted me to see his love and share it. I was surrounded by so many amazing friends from Miami. They not only woke up at 4 am, but they took time to invest in this dream of mine. They have come around a common goal. To love and support each other. It was an opportunity to experience God. It was a reminder that there is ALWAYS HOPE.

Friends, setbacks are part of the journey. They don’t define us, but they help shape us. As I ran today my head was held high. When I hit mile 10, I knew, I didn’t need to do the full. I had ran back into the wind and couldn’t control my breathing. Yes, maybe I could have set a PR, but I also could have destroyed my body or ended up disappointed by a result not reflective of my hardwork and fitness level. Yes, I had a ton of people past the halfway point waiting to cheer me on. It’s hard not meeting expectations.

But today as I finished, I was left with “Remember Why”.

It’s the big picture, the end goal.

Practically speaking, I want to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials, so I can’t get injured. But also, I want to be a voice that shows others the power and freedom God offers to all of us. Our worth is not dependent on any success or failure. We’ve already been give a life worthy of love. There’s nothing we can do to earn it, and there’s nothing we can do to lose it. So when obstacles come, because they will come, we stand tall. We don’t back down, but remember that God is bigger than our circumstances, he’s bigger than the things of this world.

You know I don’t know what this journey is going to end up looking like, but I am so thankful to be on it. I have learned so much from this discipline. I have grown and challenged myself in ways I never dreamed possible.

So I leave you with this.

Never give up.

There is always hope. There is always something more. God is bigger than your problems and circumstances. He’s bigger than your success or failures. He’s big enough to handle it all. So when things don’t go as planned, don’t fret, he has something much better in store.

Jo ButlerComment