Thursday, July 19, 2012

Never Say Run

I know, I know, I know. I’m terrible at this thing called blogging. I post a few posts and then I disappear for a day, or two, or two months. That’s okay though, because I am here now.
Back in May, I ran my first 5k. If you remember, I posted my excitement over the prospect of being a “runner” here and I also talked about my doubts. I vividly remember the first meeting, we all stood, stated our name and why we joined the group. As recounted in the above mentioned blogpost, I said, "Hi, my name is Jessica Ackerman. I used to run for punishment when I used to play softball and would miss a pop-fly. I am hoping to get a renewed sense of running."

I never imagined how hard running would be. How rewarding running would be. How addicting running would be.

Weeks went by and I stuck with it. Every Tuesday (or Thursday) and Saturday, I would meet with the group to run. Whether it was freezing cold, raining or hot as the dickens, I went. I gave a 7 week update and was very intimidated by the 8 week routine...a whole 20 minutes without stopping.

The Run for God group

Well, let me tell you, that 20 minute run was the BEST run of my life. It was so effortless. When the final whistle blew I couldn't believe that I had just ran that long. Over the next several weeks, we continued training and then the "big day" came.

The "Get in the Pink" 5k. That morning, I woke up early and had breakfast, donned my neon green running shoes and was ready to go. Upon arriving, I saw all the red "Run for God" shirts and was immediately comforted. The nerves were replaced by excitement.

After a little Zumba warm-up, we walked down the the start line. Then I had to pee. I ran to a nearby gas station and made it back to the startline just in time.

 I ran with a dear friend that I met through the program, Diane. As we ran through beautiful downtown Columbia, we thanked the police officers who were blocking off intersections for us, the volunteers and waved at those who were looking on from their houses. Diane and I talked of God and she was a huge source of encouragement. Towards the end, I was getting pretty worn out. With the finish line in-sight, I told Diane to go ahead and I slowed my pace a bit. I finished in 35 minutes.
Diane and I before the race
I wanted to cry. I am pretty sure I have never been so proud of myself. My husband might have even gotten a little teary-eyed (don't tell him I told you). It was so wonderful to hug Diane at the finish line and then welcome all of the other Run for God runners as they crossed the line.
Two weeks after the "Get in the Pink" 5k, I ran the "Jailbreak" 5k in Lexington. This run was a lot harder. It was super hot and I had just found out some amazing news that hindered my running performance. I walked/ran this 5k, keeping a close watch on my heartrate. I remember at one point, children had gone in their back yard (which faced the route) and had a sprinkler hanging over the back fence to give the runners relief from the hot sun.

My mom came up to watch me run (she even made me an amazing shirt in honor of Officer Joe McGarry). At the end of the race, I caught up with another Run for God runner, Kathy, and we finished together.
Of course my mom was crying when I crossed the finish line and the nurse in her kicked in making sure I rehydrated with water and fruit.

I need to thank Brooke for getting me to do the Run for God program and for keeping me accountable!
Brooke and I before "Get in the Pink"
For now, my running career is on hold while I re-adjust to all of the change going on. I look forward to starting again in the near future!


  1. I'm a little teary-eyed here!

  2. SO happy and excited for you and the accomplishment of this huge goal! You're rocking it on so many fronts right now, my dear! Congrats! :)

  3. I love you my friend and am so thankful for this program that allowed us to meet. You were an encouragement to me also! Those times we shared running are very special to me and the Get in the Pink was an amazing race for both of us! The Jailbreak was a hard run but you did it very well. As much as I was concerned abut you, I knew you were going to be were stronger because of all you had done and been through to get to that point. Oh how God knew we needed those kids holding that hose didn't He? I miss running with you and cannot wait until we can do it again!

  4. I am so amazed at the woman you have become, and the mommy you are soon to be. You have always given your all for each goal you set, I can wait to see the future God has planned for you!!! I love you so much, my sweet girl. ~Mom