The road to race day . . .

has been a difficult one.  In ways I could not have imagined or anticipated.  

I know I need to report on how Saturday’s race actually went, which I will definitely do.  But in the last seven weeks this experience has become much bigger for me than race day.  I’d like to do some further explaining about that before talking about the race.

When I started training for the triathlon I had the thought “Can I do this?”  As I got into my training that question faded away.  Hopefully you could sense that in my previous related posts.  I realized I could do it.  And I kept training, looking forward with optimism and confidence.

But seven weeks ago things changed.  I found out I was pregnant. 

We were slightly surprised but very excited.  Though, of course, I wasn’t sure what my training would look like moving forward.

I know that many women have gone out and done some incredible things while pregnant.  They’ve climbed mountains, ran marathons.  Tara even told me she had a friend who did the Ironman while pregnant. 

This experience has taught me that I am not one of those women. 

I tried as best I could to get out there and move in the last weeks of my training, but I was just so tired and gross-feeling.  When I would exercize with any moderate-to-high level of intensity I would hit a huge wall.  My burning legs, my fast-beating heart, my panting lungs would all scream “We are DONE!” 

This is all normal, I learned.  And any woman who has been pregnant will tell you that the word “normal” is a very comforting thing to hear when you are with child.

Unfortunately, there were other things about this pregnancy that were not normal.  I have hypothyroidism and that became an issue.  We thought that was resolved when we went in for an ultrasound and saw our little one’s heart beating.  We were six weeks along.  He or she measured just fine and we were on track for a March birth.

Then the icky pregnant feeling started to fade and we learned that my hormone levels were not increasing “normally.”  I spent a week living in a chaotic mixture of fear, hope, uncertainty, prayer, sadness, and confusion. 

You can see where this is going.  And, of course, the last thing I wanted to do was train.  Understandably.

A week ago today we saw with our own eyes that our baby’s heart was not beating.  This was five days before the triathlon. 

I had spent over a month of pregnancy wondering “Can I really do this triathlon?  Will the baby be okay?  If I don’t do it am I just wimping out or is my reasoning legitimate?  What would God have me do?  This seems so much bigger than just doing a triathlon. Do I trust Him with this?  What does trusting Him even look like in this situation?”

Even though the baby is now safe in the arms of Jesus (and really was, all along), I still wondered if I could finish the race or if I wanted to anymore.  “I’m just so tired, Lord, in every way.  The last thing I want is to be out there on that race course exhausted, alone, feeling like I want to give up.”

At the same time, there was something compelling and healing about the thought of accomplishing something with my body (if I could do it).   This body that has carried three babies and delivered one at full term.  The one that survived those years of disordered eating and ran a half marathon last October.

The one that’s gotten one too many sunburns and doesn’t get enough water every day.  The one with the bum shoulder.  The one that breastfed a child for 14 months and the one strong enough to carry that same child’s 28-pound body around every day. 

I have to admit, this body I have is an amazing creation.  And it’s sustained by a lovingly persistant Creator.  

I couldn’t shake the thought that this was something from God all along.   I have felt that before with other things and I have felt my resistance to fully embrace it. 

I knew He had provided all I had needed up until this point, on many practical levels.   And I knew I had proclaimed that, to myself and to others.

Come race day, I would learn even more about His provision. 

I just had to get to the starting line.

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11 responses to “The road to race day . . .

  1. I love you. Thank you for sharing from your hear…just what I needed to hear today. Sorry for your loss and rejoicing with you through tears that your third blessing is resting in the arms of Jesus. Can we do coffee one evening this next week? Let me know I’ll come to you kid free 🙂

  2. A very powerful post, Elisabeth. Thank you for sharing. I too, have similar struggles and am in constant need of a remind of His creation. I am sorry for your loss, too.

  3. Elisabeth Honey; There is so much in the thoughts you wrote about. Love, faith, inspiration, life, and hope. Thank you!
    The triathalon video on your Facebook page is terrific. You guys are champions.
    God bless You, Jason and Ian.

    Dad

  4. So sorry for your loss, Elisabeth. I’m so proud to know you through the years and witness how much you’ve grown and how strong and grace-filled your life has become. We are praying for you, Jason and Ian. Much love to you all.

  5. Very powerful. Very moving. Thank you for sharing this journey. Words seem inadequate, but I am sorry for your loss as well.

  6. Oh Elisabeth my friend, what a beautiful post.

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is grieving with you.

    But your story shows the goodness of the Lord and the beauty of His character through what you have endured.

    I love your heart. I love your words. I love how I can see Jesus in everything you do.

    I love you sweet sister.

    Love, Keisha

  7. Wow. Praise God for the hope we have in Jesus. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Elisabeth and Jason,
    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. No matter how young or how old, children are dear to the hearts of their parents. We just want you to know that we are saddened, too. Recently, our Bible study group finished the book of Job. One of the primary messages God gives us through Job’s suffering is that human reason struggles to find answers for God’s actions. However, since His thoughts are so much greater than ours, we aren’t going to know why He allows some things to happen. Our peace of mind lies in the fact that Jesus has made all things right between God and us, so nothing stands in the way of His love for us. May your minds and hearts find it a great comfort to know how much God loves you and your family. Give Ian a hug from us. Love, Connie

  9. Whew, I should not have read that at work because I am teary and want to hug someone (would a patient think that awkward?). Thank you for sharing your heart — I am reminded of the Lord’s character and grace through you.
    — Ashley

  10. Pingback: All that happened on race day « Bliss and the Battlefield

  11. Pingback: A little (big) miracle for the Haggards | Bliss and the Battlefield

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