Saturday, September 27, 2008

Race For the Cure 5K

Hey, y'all! Today was the Race for the Cure in Greenville, SC. Approximately 6,000 folks participated in the run or walk. Years ago, when it first began, there might have been 500. I was just amazed at the number of people there this morning--and the amount of the traffic trying to park!!

It was extremely humid this morning--at 95% humidity! Once my hair got wet from the sweat, it never did dry out! Gotta love this weather!

I ran with part of our Team Dirty Feet. We did NOT have dirty feet today since we didn't run this on trails--only roads.

That's me, Scott, and Robin. And, no, Robin and I did not call each other last night to coordinate the matching running ensembles! Today is also Scott and Robin's 5th wedding anniversary! Happy anniversary you two!!

As the 3.1 mile race began, I realized how long it had been since I had done a race of this distance. The further along I got into the race, the more it reminded me that I truly do not like this short distance! It is a sprint....that's all! How hard can you run for 3 miles? Yuck! There is no beautiful scenery to take in, no mountains to climb, no snakes to look out far. Oh, we did have hills--mile 2 was nothing but an uphill! So, while I was having a pity party about how much I disliked this and that, I glanced over to the other side of the median (we were running in an enclosed business park loop)where I saw the noncompetitive runners and walkers. They were smiling, laughing, encouraging each other, and having fun--the way I usually do on a trail. I saw a precious friend of mine, Laurie, who is a cancer survivor walking with a group of friends that I had not seen in ages. We exchanged "hello's!" and "love you's" from a short distance. (Here we are! She looks great!)

Then, I saw another runner, a young girl with a prosthetic leg. She was smiling and running with her friends as well. What an inspiration. I realized that I knew who she was and remembered her story. She and some friends had been at the lake a couple of years ago swimming when she somehow got her leg caught in the motor of the boat. Her friend's dad saved her life, but her high school running days were over. Today, I watched her run with an awkward gait but with a huge smile on her face!

I then thought to myself .... I had no right to have a "pity party" with all of the beautiful moments going on around me. This race was not about me. It was about the wonderful moms, daughters, aunts, friends and grandma's who had struggled with this monster called cancer. Some had beaten it; others had not. I ran with two pieces of pink paper on my back. One listed girlfriends that I ran in honor of, and the other, ones I ran in memory of. That was what this celebration was all about.

Romans 12:12 says for us to "be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." God tells us that there will be pain in this broken world. We know the story of Adam and Eve, and the choices that were made in the garden of Eden. But, we are encouraged to be patient in that affliction. Those who endured chemo and radiation learned quickly what patience is all about. Sitting in a carpool line--or even the long unending line for parking this morning--is nothing compared to what they had to go through. Patience...patience...patience.

I'm sure that these survivors and their families prayed fervently along with prayer chains from churches all over. We should be faithful with our prayers in the good times as well...not just the emergencies. We must keep an open communication with our Lord. If we read His Word daily and pray throughout the day, we are being faithful in prayer.

Finally, the joy on the faces of the women and their families was contagious. A family from our church was there to run in honor of wife, mom, and grandmom, Linda, who had beaten the disease. It was so good to see her family and fellowship with them.

These realizations changed my attitude from " I am not having fun... I am so ready to be done... I hate to sprint up a hill." to "Thank you , Lord, for these precious women and their loved ones." and "Father, please comfort those whose loved ones are now with You."

I'll leave you with this thought today...How has your attitude been lately?

Enjoy this wonderful weekend! I need to take a shower!!!


Chatty Kelly said...

We all need an attitude adjustment sometimes! I am always telling my 9 yr old to focus on the good, admirable, lovely, praiseworthy.

Thanks for pointing me to that today too.

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Great pix.

Congratulations on running this race and for listening to Him whisper His messages to you through everyone and everything around you.

Way to go!

Edie said...

What a great attitude [or should I say attitude adjustment] you have. I have to hand it to you, getting out there to run is no small task in itself. God bless you and those you run for.

Yolanda said...

My heart has been tendered and reminded of how close this hits home. I have a dear friend that in February, it will be a full two years since a radical hysterectomy and double mastectomy; all in the same surgery. Surviving!

And tomorrow, a precious friend's daughter is going in at 7:00 a.m. for a double mastectomy she is under the age of 30. With a husband and two young boys.

Lord, Your presence, please.


Gotta Run said...

Since you did not mention it I will......

Congrats on placing 2nd in you age group!!!!! Go Momma Hood!!!!

Had fun hanging out with always.

Leebird said...

Seeing those pictures of you make me homesick for some Susan Hood! I miss you. If I could find a way to get to your town today, I would be there in a heartbeat.

Sarah said...

I'm loving your blog (clicked over when you won something from Lysa Teurkhurst)! This is exactly why -- thanking for sharing how the Lord softened your heart. I'm also, truthfully, enjoying hearing about your training. I'm an avid exerciser, but running has never really been my thing. I'm trying again -- slowly, very slowly.

Thanks for your blog! Oh -- P.S., your post about Wal-Mart is featured on my "Good Things Out There" post for this week! Loved it!

Sarah said...

Susan, I am in Abilene -- west Texas, i.e., the desert (it's not AS desert as some of Texas, but it's way more desert than where I grew up in Louisiana!) What little I know about San Antonio is around the Riverwalk. This post was for a Beth Moore event I went to a few weeks ago and is the best info about San Antonio, I think (the writer does live in San Antonio). With what she says, I agree: MUST get to Mi Tierra's (expect to WAIT if you get there at dinner time!) and shop at RiverCenter Mall. The shops along the Riverwalk are very cute and San Antonio-esque, but for a REAL San Antonio experience, shop at Market Square (which is where Mi Tierra's is). Very Tex-Mex, very fun. Hope it goes well for you!

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh, that is so sweet all that God showed you! You were surrounded by beauty from the starting line. Thank God you let Him speak to your heart!

Okay. Let me just tell you something "Miss I Run 80 miles a day without breaking a sweat"! 3 miles would kill Lelia, are you hearin' me here?? This girl gets winded going up the stairs in my house!! The only time I sprint is if I hold it too long and I try to get to the bathroom in time.
Oh my sweet Susan I do admire you, but next time you are out running and you hit that 3 mile marker, just think "I just did that for Lelia" ;) know I have much love for you!!

LynnSC said...

Wow!! Totally impressed. I am with Lelia. I get winded just going up the stairs in our house.

Way to go, Susan!!

By the way, I tagged you over on my blog. Check it out and let me know if you post.

On Purpose said...

Thank you Susan for running!

KelliGirl said...

Thanks Susan for sharing your experience. As a cancer survivor and participant in many races and rides for cancer, there is nothing more wonderful than being able to share my gift of health to help, encourage and celebrate with others.

Keep on running!

The Patterson 5 said...

My Momma loves the race for the cure! This year she will get four balloons (you get a balloon for each year of your survival) She walks and the years I have walked with her have been incredibly emotional, as the first year we did it- she was a brand new survivior with no hair and it was the first time she did not care if anyone saw her with out her wig or hat. Thank you for your race for a cure! Momma will not be walking this year as she will be in Mississippi celebrating her mother's 88th birthday! I come from a line of surviviors!

Sandy Toes said...

Great pictures! Way to go on running the race...what a great thing!
-Sandy Toes

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A wonderful reflection on what truly matters...

running the race with joy and finishing it in the arms of our Joy Giver!


Empty Nest Full Life said...

Found you along the blog reading way, and had to add you to my favorites immediately. My husband is going to start help me training to run again, and when I say it has been a LOOOOOOOOOng time, I mean Long! The best thing was the spiritual focus that you have, and I need that a lot right now. I am currently in a Beth Moore study, and have done lots. God's word is something I won't to really focus on more and more. Jackie

Chris said...

Super report Susan!

You're right! Attitude makes ALL the difference.... (even though it's many times wasier said than done) :-)

Denise said...


Kimberly said...

I, too, am in awe of your running! I, myself, am a walker. :)

I love not only how God spoke to your heart, but how you listened and allowed your attitude to be changed.

And thank you for your tremendously sweet comments over at my blog. :) I love that your church is looking into doing a mentoring program. Mentors are SUCH a blessing! I am thankful for the ones in my life!

Blessings, sweet Susan!