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Monday, February 25, 2008

Vaseline what?

Post marathon pic. Can you believe I could hold this big baby? Mother's can find super strength at times, I tell you.

This is us in our awesome self-made marathon t-shirts. They had our names on the front, and mine said Mom 04, (like, 4 kids) and Rusty's said CALL 911. We thought we were cute.

The wonderful girls who made this all possible. Everyone who saw us at the race said "Where are your kids?" Like we just left them home alone? No, we had wonderful Amanda and my cousin Bailey who spent the night so they could go on duty with my kiddos at 6:45. How great are they? Love you girls!

So, I did it.
I ran 13.1 miles. Without dying.
I realized around mile 12 I had never gone that far before.
I was really nervous, pre-race, and though I slept pretty well, I had a lot of nervous peeing going on. I have bladder issues.
We got to the race. There were LOTS of people, and I wasn't sure what we were supposed to do...stand around and stretch, or what?
We got our cool numbers. I liked that. We got a tag to attach to our shoe which was supposed to calculate our race time.
We gathered in a huddle of people and we saw some people we knew...friends from church, patients of Rusty's, etc.
Jenn C. asked me if I had vaselined my hiney. What? She had heard you should vaseline your butt cheeks for friction. Someone else mentioned vaselining your toes. What?
No one, not ONE person mentioned to me vaselining (is that a verb) body parts prior to the moment we are standing at the starting line.
How could this be? I felt a moment of panic. What else did you veteran marathoners not tell me? Did I eat the right breakfast? What was carb-loading all about? I ate tacos the night before. I didn't have any of the energy goo people talked about.
But here I was, a virgin marathoner, and I was hopeful none of that mattered too much.
A local minister prayed before we took off, and I truly asked the Lord to somehow get glory from this. I have learned by now that He can get the most glory from the things we would least expect. This whole idea has been very spiritual to me. The Bible likens our faith to a race many times. God reveals himself to me when I'm pushing myself, against the wind, through pain, when I'm enduring, and really, when I'm doing something I never thought I would be capable of.
That's the biggest thing for me. God is accomplishing things that I can't even dream of.
Eph 3:20-21
20 Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. 21 May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.

My dreams are too small. Could I have even imagined Rusty? No way.
Not so many years ago, when I couldn't even run 1/8 of a mile, could I have dreamed that I would run a half marathon?
Emphatically no.
God has been growing me, changing me, molding me, changing the way I think, over time, and He has taught me a great deal about spiritual discipline.
I was once spiritually undisciplined.
As God grew me in this, I feel like that has spilled over into other areas of my life. I think the more spiritually disciplined I became, the more physically disciplined I became.
Is that true for everyone? No, not necessarily.
But that's what my journey has looked like, and running this race meant something to me.
So the horn blew.
Yes, a horn, not a gun. Very disappointing.
A mass of people starting running in place, trying to take off together.
This was very weird and awkward. I just kept saying "This is weird."
But the super fast people took off.
And the people who thought they were super but we passed later took off.
And we settled into a jogging pattern.
David Colvin, veteran marathoner and accountability partner to Rusty, decided THAT MORNING to run with us.
Did that compute?
He just ran the Houston marathon. He hasn't really run much since then because of a sore knee, but last minute, on a whim, did 13 miles with us.
This was really cool, and it livened up our conversation as we ran.
We kept a 10 minute mile most of the way.
Around mile 4 I put on Kirk Franklin and "put my hands up" and picked up my pace.
We trucked along, seeing David's family, whom we dearly love, along the way around mile 9. That was cool. (There weren't many cheer-ers in this race. Hardly any really. That stunk. Except for Manny Martinez, there to cheer a co-worker on, and he was our one-man cheering section. So cool.)
We saw our kids, Amanda, and Bailey around mile 10. I was so looking forward to that!
But about that time, what we could only describe as a "brutal wind" hit us.
Something to do with weather or something. Rusty could tell you.
So the last three miles, difficult anyway, were made REALLY difficult by this wind.
It felt like spinning your wheels against it.
This is where we walked for a few minutes.
But then we turned that corner, from the feeder of Hwy. 6 onto Harvey, basically our last mile. My ipod was playing "My Redeemer Lives" by Shane and Shane.
This wasn't the pick-me-up music I was listening to earlier in the race. It was my spiritual moment of the race.
I picked up the pace.
As I was running in, I heard "Run Baby Run" by Sheryl Crow.
We were fighting for the lead with a 70 year old man. That will motivate you.
As we crossed the finish line, people didn't cheer for us.
Why? There were a few half-hearted claps, but they didn't mean it.
Just as I suspected, there was no press conference.
I could deal with that.
But what I couldn't deal with was there was NO GATORADE.
They cut my tag off of my shoe.
Then some lady started asking me to vote for my favorite water stop or something.
I was disoriented.
I JUST WANTED SOME GATORADE. I started crying and pleading with people for Gatorade.
We found some calorie free flavored water.
Calorie free? Are you kidding?
All I wanted was my BERRY GATORADE.
And my kids weren't there.
We saw them driving away just before we reached the finish line.
By NO FAULT of Amanda and Bailey's, they couldn't reach us because there was no parking.
Heather tried to come cheer for me at the finish line too, like the sweet, sweet friend she is! But she couldn't get to me either.
No babies.
No Gatorade.
That made the finish line a little disappointing.
We met up with the kids along the road on Harvey, and headed home.
But we had done it!!!! We ran about a 10 1/2 min. mile we think.
2 hours and 15 minutes.
I feel proud of that.
I feel proud of doing it.
I felt lousy all day.
I was fine when we got home.
About an hour later, I felt like the flu hit me with a vengeance.
I wanted to seriously throw up.
Rusty, on the other hand, is SUPER HUMAN.
He felt fine.
He went to the hospital to admit a patient.
He then took the kids to the park.
Then...wait, you won't believe this...he played in a soccer game!!!!!
What is wrong with him?
Or maybe something is wrong with me, because I felt like death.
After my nap, I was better than before, went to church, sported a t-shirt that I will love DESPITE the armadillo on it, and came home for our Sunday night Wings n' more ritual.
I never enjoyed it more.
OH, and there was no need for vaseline for me. No friction issues, FYI.
That's all of it.
The good, bad, and the ugly.
I don't know if I'll do it again. I am betting it's like giving birth. After time passes, you forget how it really felt. You only remember the euphoric parts.
And I can tell that races are somewhat addictive.
So who knows? But it won't be anytime soon.
I am perfectly content with this achievement.
Yay!!! We did it!!!!


The Mosiers said...

Yay!! I am so proud of you! You seriously have given me hope that maybe in the years to come, I can become a runner. Even though I wasn't able to come cheer you on, I was cheering you on in my heart the whole time I was playing with the babies in Preschool.

Who know about the vaseline? That's just plain weird.

Anyway, I'm so proud of you friend! Thanks for sharing the whole story! I throughly enjoyed it.

Missy said...

Jennifer you did a wonderful job! It must feel amazing to accomplish something that is so out of character, but you practiced hard and stayed focused on God! Congratulations!

By the way, I found you after all of these years through Tamra Perkinson's blog. I hope that you remember me! :) I read your entries about preparing for the race, and I had to hop on tonight to see how you did before I went to bed! I think it is wonderful thing that you have accomplished! Congratulations again!

Missy (Cornish)

texasinafrica said...


Liz said...

wow! great job guys!

Anonymous said...


I am so proud of you pushing through. I decided not to enter at the last minute and now I'm kicking myself in the butt. You are an inspiration to all us wannabes.

My family is into the marathon thing and I knew about the vasaline. They even have a new product called body glide that is in a deoderant form for the friction on your thighs and butt.


Marcus and Meg Asby said...

You were super-cool before the race, and I really thought you could not reach new levels of cool-dom.

Little did I know!

(And I can't believe Rusty played soccer afterwards. That's ridiculous. RE-diculous. I'm so impressed.)

brickmomma said...


I am doing a 5k friday night and after reading your post abiut the spiritual aspects of your run I plan to run the entire thing!

Want to come? It's in the dark. We get glow necklaces.....it'll be fun!

Laurie said...

Way to go!!!

What an accomplishment, especially since you said you were never very sporty or athletic! Maybe there is hope for me someday??

texasmcvays said...

You go girl!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Jenn and Rusty! You guys ROCK!

P.s. Miss you!

jessica said...

you did a great job jojo!! and i am very proud of you!!

The Houstons said...

you have officially inspired this non-runner ...to commit to running a halfy too! I told Jon and he is thrilled. As soon as I can start training, Im gonna! Except mine might be in Europe! :) Since that's where we will be for the next 3 years! Miss yall, Congrats again, what an accomplishment, God is so awesome!