5 Ideas Generated By Running A Half Marathon

On Sunday I completed my fourth half marathon. Wow, it’s hard to believe that’s true since “I’m not a runner.” I don’t run to compete; typically I finish about mid-pack for my age and gender. I don’t run to break records; though I was close to a personal record yesterday.  🙂

I simply run to think, pray, listen and learn- mostly more about my Creator. All the other benefits are great, but God always gives me ideas when I run.

And here are the 5 ideas generated from yesterday’s half.

1. At the race start and for the first mile, many runners shed their outer layers.  It’s kind of humorous to watch all the clothes getting flung into the air over the crowd to the sides of the race corrals.  Pants, jackets, gloves…. What would be awesome is if churches would come and collect the clothing for homeless shelters. Or there was a ministry called “Race Scraps for Jesus.” A little crazy, but seriously! Wouldn’t it be cool?

2. One of my favorite races, the Nashville Music City Half, sports lives bands every few miles. Around mile 6 on Sunday in St. Louis, I prayed for a worship band. Just before mile 8, my prayer was answered. Interesting how God knew what I needed even before I did.  The name of Jesus holds so much strength.  My light bulb moment regarding this:

Christian music needs more songs with the name of Jesus and I need to revisit the ones that include His name.

3. At one point on a long uphill, I stopped running and started walking.  Someone yelled to me: Don’t let the hill stop you! Ok, so I wasn’t really encouraged by this shout.  I wasn’t letting the hill STOP me; I just needed a short reprieve. As my husband said, “That’s pretty easy to say when you are sitting on the sidelines with a warm cup of coffee in your hand,” watching the sun rise and “cheering” runners as a sidebar.  And the idea formed:

All encouragement is not created equal.

4. St. Louis has quite the combination of old and new buildings downtown.  When looking around at the architecture, I viewed interesting details and combinations of classic and modern styles, creating an eclectic, but exciting effect. My thoughts: Old ideas don’t always need dropped.  Their structures are strong; the foundations secure.  But resurfacing them adds spark and relevance.

5. Finish lines should be a place of rejoicing! I typically just run across smiling.  But this time, something came over me and I felt completely out of character.  I literally leaped across the finish line- and it felt good.  But as I crossed, I overheard someone  on the sideline say “That was weird.” And the fact was reiterated to me that not everyone will rejoice when I rejoice.

Rejoice with others whether or not you comprehend their journey or their victory.

I leave you with the great line of Forrest Gump:

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Have you ever had a time when someone didn’t understand your joy?  How did you respond?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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  1. First of all Rachel, CONGRATULATIONS on your goal and achievement! 🙂 I love your ideas and how God stirs your heart! May we continue to be open to His leadings…. ~ Love from Maine, Amy

  2. First of all, congrats on finishing your fourth half-marathon! That’s a pretty big accomplishment – especially to someone like me, who’s not allowed to run at all 🙂
    Second, I love the ideas & thoughts you shared. Number 3, especially – all encouragement is not created equal. People mean well but they don’t always try to see things outside of their own perspective. And it’s hard sometimes to accept their well-meaning, but unhelpful, words with grace. In some ways, that almost ties in with Number 5 – seeing things through another’s eyes. Especially as Christians, we ought to learn how to empathize with others, whether in joys or in sorrows. I think it’s something that’s seriously lacking in the Church these days.

    1. You are so right. 3 and 5 do pair well together! 🙂 I’m continually reminding myself that I don’t know what it is like to be that person until I’ve experienced what they’ve experienced. Even then, perspective is subjective. Just another way to crave to be more like Jesus. Thanks Elizabeth!!

  3. Thanks for your uplifting words. I am about to run my first half marathon on 11/3. I love my quiet time to think and reflect. I do feel that god will give me the energy to cross the finish line. Gove me the strength when my mind is telling me to stop. I am nervous and excited. I will take your 5 ideas and put them to good use in 2 weeks!

      1. I keep coming back to your post so I can be encouraged to make it through. Thanks

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