"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, December 31, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes!

What a difference a year makes! On this last day of 2012 I reflect on how my running over the past year compares to 2011. In 2011 I ran 2756 miles -- an average of 53 miles per week in my 53rd year which I completed on December 31, 2011.  In addition to my many training miles in 2011, I completed 15 half marathons, 3 full marathons, and 6 runs which were greater than marathon distance during my 10 day GRACERUNNER JOURNEY. Fast forward to 2012 --- Because of a major hip injury I had to cut back drastically and will end the year with a total of approximately 1,300 miles -- completing 9 half marathons and 2 full marathons. 

Back in August, after several months of much pain and eventually reaching the point that I could not run, sit, drive, or sleep without pain, I met with one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country who specializes in hip surgery. He told me what I didn't want to hear. My hip joint needed repair --- a resurfacing procedure instead of a total hip replacement. After this surgery and much rehabilitation it is our desire that I will feel much better. The surgeon told me that we could do the procedure in October. I declined. He told me that we could have the surgery before the end of the year. Once again, I declined. He was puzzled. I explained that I had unfinished business for our TEAM 413 ministry. I planned to run the Chicago Marathon on October 7 and then complete the Goofy Challenge (run both the half and full marathons) at the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend in January 2013. He had no problem with this, but warned me that I would have significant pain. My response was that I thought that I could deal with the pain. He agreed to allow me to carry on if I thought that it was what I needed to do.

I completed the Chicago Marathon on October 7 and my surgeon was right! I had a lot of pain. Nevertheless, I completed the event albeit very slow! October, November, and December would prove my doc right again. Pain would be my constant companion as I continued forward. 

Now, comes one of the greatest physical challenges of my life. January will be a month filled with much effort, agony, joy, guts, grit, and pain. On January 12 I will line up for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and then on the 13th I'll once again go to the starting line in order to complete the Walt Disney World Full Marathon -- This will be my 4th Goofy Challenge at the WDW Marathon Weekend. My only desire is to finish the event to the glory of God and to be a witness to someone along my journey.

On January 14 Kiki and I will drive from Orlando, Florida to Columbia, South Carolina. On January 15 I will finish preliminary testing prior to my surgery and then on January 16 I will undergo hip surgery, the structures will be resurfaced, and I'll stay in the hospital for a few days. What follows is still bit of a mystery to me. I'll be out of running for at least 6 months. I'll go through a rehabilitation program with a goal of returning to running at whatever pace God allows me to achieve. There is a race that I'm aiming for as my return event in 2013, but I'll keep that to myself for now.

Many folks have asked if I will still travel to represent TEAM 413 at marathon expos and at speaking engagements while I'm physically out of commission. The answer is, YES! I plan to be at a couple of events in February and then go to all of our scheduled events from March throughout the spring and summer prior to return to running. I'll probably sit down a bit more in our booth space and will have more volunteers to help us, but I'll be out there with my wonderful wife and partner, Kiki, sharing with whoever will listen. And, I'll be planning for our April 12-13 Race Weekend in Alabama.

This journey is going to be a challenge. It will be a test of my will, mental toughness, physical stamina, and trust in God's promise that HE is THERE! It will be a testimony to God working in my life! I'm looking forward to it with great anticipation! As always, Kiki will be right there by my side encouraging me, pushing me, loving me, and sharing our story.

Call me crazy! I'll just say that I am still on a relentless pursuit to allow God to draw strength from the depths of my soul that I didn't know that I had any longer!

God is good --- He is faithful -- and I am blessed!

Under HIS Grace...


No comments:

Post a Comment