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“MY” Albany Half-Marathon

By   /   March 17, 2012  /   Comments Off



If you follow my column, you know that I have been in training to accomplish something that I considered quite improbable just 6 months ago. Then, on March 3rd, with the rain blowing and tornado warning sirens blaring, I finished the 13.1 mile run through the streets of Albany GA known as the, “Albany/Snickers Half Marathon.”   I crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 3 seconds.  You may now smile and applaud.

I refer to the half-marathon as improbable because 2 giant obstacles stood in my way. The first was my waistline. I have suffered with obesity for years. How was I going to transform my 275lb body into something more compatible with endurance running? Secondly, I am not the “enduring” type.  I much prefer my experiences to be instantly gratifying.    The very thought of months of running that included discipline, patience,  and goal setting was quite contrary  to my impulsive self who didn’t finish high school (although I did get a G.E.D), college, or any job in which the promotion seemed to distant or difficult to achieve.

The support from my family and friends was overwhelming.  In this forum there is no way to neither offer nor express my sincere gratitude to them all. Notably, my eldest daughter Amber (www.fatgirlruns.tumblr.com) herself had already lost 70+ pounds and had completed her first 1/2 marathon this past Fall. She and I ran this one together. Kayla, Amber’s younger sister and a full marathon runner, challenged me to run this race, coached me along the way, and purchased for me the proper running shoes.  My youngest daughter Brianna, a dancer at Darton College, worked with my mobility thus helping to keep me injury free.  And of course there was my wife of 27 years Regina who made sure I had a fresh supply of raw vegetable juice, running gear, and anything else she could do to ensure my success.

Next time I will share how I applied the biblical story of David vs. Goliath to overcome the aforementioned obstacles. For today’s addition of With Your Latte let me just encourage you with this: those once intimidating “giants” are no longer around taunting me as bully’s so often do. Through keeping a watchful eye on my caloric intake, and substituting processed foods with wholesome alternatives, I had lost almost 60lbs when the cannon sounded – signifying the start of the race. As for patience and endurance – that was a matter of keeping my eye on the prize. For me, the reward was one of completion since that concept was historically foreign to me. I also knew that tons of friends from my church Connections were waiting for me at the finish line. In addition, I knew that upon my successful completion of this grueling run, the bright and always encouraging smile of my wife Regina would be there to greet me. The latter was by far my greatest reward.

NOW – grab a latte, write some goals, get some help, and run “YOUR” race.  See you next time.



Doug Rea is the Pastor at Connections in Albany, GA.

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