Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#SayYesProject: Turkey Day 5k

Today I am linking up with one of my sweetest, newest blogging friends, Amber with the #StayYesProject. I relate with her gut reaction to say no, I understand the anxiety that comes with all the what ifs. I said yes this past week when I ran the Turkey Day 5k.

Mr. Thomas and Me

Before I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis last fall, I found my identity in being a runner but quickly, almost overnight, I lost the ability to run and for awhile, I lost a part of myself. It was about May of this year that I finally was feeling well enough to run again, but its been a struggle for me to find that groove, to ditch my ego about not being the runner I was before RA. Truth is, I am not the same person as I was before I was diagnosed with RA. The Lord really does use every thing for His glory, and through this trial, He's refined me and taught me so much about myself, including that I can do hard things.

When my mom asked me if I wanted to run the Turkey Day 5k on Thanksgiving, my mind immediately was flooded with the reasons I shouldn't. I thought to myself how much slower my 5k time would be than it was a year ago. I doubted I could run the entire 3.1 miles without a walk break because recently, my runs had been full of having to take a break because I didn't feel I could go on. I told her maybe, but when she asked again a week later, I said yes before I had a chance to say no.

The week before the race, I ran two times, with no walk breaks. One of my runs I listened to a church sermon on my iPhone, and on another run, I dedicated each mile to praying for someone. That day, I prayed for my friend Kathleen, I prayed for my husband, and I prayed for a co-workers marriage who was hurting. By Thursday, race day, I felt confident and excited. I told myself to beat my normal, average day run pace of between 10:38-10:42 and try and run a 10:30 mile.

Race day came, I bundled up and my supportive husband brought the camera and cheered me on. Each mile I ran, I thought to myself how truly grateful I was to be running. I thought of the amazing fact that someone with a degenerative joint disease was physically capable of running. I said a little prayer of thanksgiving for modern medicine and for insurance that pays for it. I said a prayer for my husband, who stuck by me through the dark season of the early days of my diagnosis. 

When I reached the finish line, and saw my mom, my step-dad and his running buddies, and my husband waiting for me, I was so thankful I said yes. Thankful for all the things running has given to me. Thankful for the times I pushed through those hard, discouraging runs. Thankful for the grace of God to allow me a second chance at running. Thankful for the outlet that running provides for me, a way to manage my anxiety without medication. 

And when I checked the results later that day, I was so surprised to see my official time: 9:53. I can do hard things. 


  1. You are such an inspiration!! Congratulations on your race and you looked amazing and just darling! Seriousl -- it's not that fair you can look so cute while running! I can't wait for warmer weather to get back outside and start getting back in shape.

  2. This is so wonderful! I am crying! I know exactly how you feel about overcoming things! I've had 2 back surgeries and every time I run I am so grateful for what I have overcome. Thank you so much for sharing your story and congrats on running the Turkey Trot :)

  3. That's amazing!! Good for you girl :) Glad running can be that outlet for you!

  4. Such a great story! Congratulations on your run!

  5. Running is so much my identity and stress relief so that thought of having that taken from me terrifies me. I'm a huge clock girl and want to always do better, better, better, which is noble at first, but can take the fun out of things... I'm so glad you said YES and that you did it! You can do hard things. Big and little hard things. So proud of you doll.