Posted by: rundadrun | May 18, 2010

A little glimpse of God’s sense of humor.

Like many marathoners, I have for some reason always tried to beat 4 hours.  I can’t even remember why I chose that as my time to beat, but there it is none the less.  For my first 3 attempts, this has meant that I spend quite a bit of my race mentally beating myself as I realize that I will not be coming in under my self-imposed deadline.  Some of you may have shared in the trudge of doom that is the last few miles of a marathon when you know you are going to completely miss your goal time.  Or maybe I am alone in my obsession. 🙂

I could just be proud of the fact that I am actually running a marathon!  But a part of me just has to dwell on the fact that I am not meeting the goal that I set for myself.  Don’t get me wrong, after the initial disappointment at the finish, I rejoice in conquering the distance.  But a part of me is never quite happy with my performance.  I hold no grand delusion that I will ever be an Olympic marathoner, I just want to beat 4 hours!  But in all 3 attempts, that time has ticked away from me while I was still out on the course somewhere doing the mental math of how far I was going to be off.

But tonight as I was reading the “Shirt Stories” on the Team 413 website, I ran across one man’s story of his first marathon.  He had lots of positive comments on his Team 413 shirt, which has the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 on it.  If you are not familiar with Team 413, check out their website @ But after running many miles with a couple of new-found Christian running partners, they crossed the finish line amazingly enough in 4 hours and 13 minutes. As I read this, I was struck by the realization that after all these years of trying, and failing in my own eyes, the best I could ever do in my quest for a sub-4 hour marathon was 4:13:26…a 4:13 marathon!  How funny is it that after all these years of believing that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” I would also end up running a marathon in 4:13!  And for such a long time, I have seen my inability to break 4 hours as a failure, instead of rejoicing in the fact that I am able to run at all.

Some day I would still like to break that elusive(for me anyway) 4 hour mark. Maybe I can find a great theme verse for 3:59. 🙂  But for now, I will be content that my time is also my testimony that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!

Happy running,




  1. I am with you! Why do we hang our feelings of accomplishment on a time goal, rather than being satisfied with the huge achievement of running 26.2 miles? I am guilty of this myself. Thank you for the reminder to rejoice in the strength that comes from God.

    • Thank you. I still have so much competitive nature in me, which is good in some ways. I do need to celebrate the journey more though.

  2. That is a great story. My first marathon was Sunday and I certainly know God was watching over me because I made it to mile 25 and woke up in an ambulance. He put my guardian angel at mile 25 to get me the medical attention I needed. I too was trying to break 4 hours and I didn’t even finish it. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle so there has to be a reason I went down when I did. I have no memory of miles 22-25.

    • Oh my goodness! Are you okay? I am sorry that you had that experience, but glad God was watching over you.

  3. Yes, I am okay now. I had bloodwork done this week and my liver enzymes are elevated. They want to redraw my blood next week. They are pretty certain that the results are elevated due to the stress of Sunday and the dehyrdation. I am so thankful that God was watching over me. Thank you for checking on me.

    • I’ll say a prayer that things continue to improve. I am very impressed with your positive takeaway from such a traumatic event. Thanks for sharing it.

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