that darn hamstring

training for my sprint triathlon last summer

I started back to running in May, a “pre-training” if you will.  It gave me the time to get my body used to all that pounding that goes along with running.  However, what I didn’t expect was a hamstring injury when I’ve only just begun to run.

I’ve never set my sights on such a lofty goal and it was not one I came to lightly either.  I don’t get caught up in the emotions and adrenaline that comes along with attending a big event like a half-marathon or marathon.  I know there is hard work, pain and suffering that goes along with it.  Whenever asked, my answer was always, “maybe one day when all my kids are in school” because I do hope to have more in this household one day!

What I did not expect was a gnawing idea at the back of my mind that just wouldn’t go away.  What I didn’t expect was for feelings of being called to do more gnawing at my heart.  So my response was only natural, I brushed it aside.  Unfortunately, things don’t go away even when you put them to the side.  The amount of time, the fear, the pain and the suffering just kept rearing their ugly heads.

And then the hamstring.  You can’t continue running when each time you do, your hamstring only hurts more and more.  You just have to take a break.  However, what do you do when after your break, you can’t even make it half a mile without the good ol’ hamstring rearing its ugly head.

I’ve been surrounded by a lot of ugly heads, the ugliest being that darn hamstring.  I was full of frustration, disappointment and yes, tears.  I actually wanted this.  I wanted to spend the time, I wanted to face the fear, I wanted to take on the pain and push through the suffering.  I was crazy enough to actually want this and I felt like I couldn’t do it.  Then someone reminded me in His ever-loving way, “Trust me.

My first week of official training was spent running in the pool.  My second week of official training, I actually put foot to pavement.  Each day was a test of my faith because I wanted to be discouraged by the pain.  By the end of my third week of training, the pain was gone.  Each run I ran, instead of the pain growing, it lessened.  I just finished my fourth week of training with 8 miles and am in the midst of week number 5.  It is humbling when He uses a hamstring to remind me how little faith I have.

Oh, did I forget to mention what I am training for?

I am running the NYC Marathon with Team World Vision!!


You see, I thought about my “maybe one day when the kids are in school” response and realized there was not one reason that seemed good enough to say not now, later.  The reasons to run are far greater than the reasons not to run, for I have 26 beautiful reasons to run!  With Team World Vision, for every mile I run in the NYC Marathon, I am committed to find a sponsor for a child in need.   There are children waiting for someone to commit to being their sponsor; someone who will help them gain access to the basic needs they don’t have.  Basic needs like clean drinking water, education, health care, and food.  Someone who will love them, encourage them and think of them.  Do you think you could be that someone?

My hope is to share this journey with you in the coming weeks & months.  I also hope you would join me in this journey through sponsoring a child, an encouraging word, your prayers, good thoughts and/or you could always join me for a run!  This Saturday I am taking on 10 miles!  I haven’t run 10 miles since 2010 when training for my half marathon.  It’s a bit daunting, however I will be thinking about the faces of the children I am committed to finding a sponsor for!  These are only the first 5 that I am already praying for on my runs!

I can’t do this alone, I need your help!  We need your help!

Would you consider sponsoring one of these children?

Abdulselam is a 12 year old boy from Ethiopia. He lives with his parents and 1 brother. His father helps at home while his mother is a farm laborer.
Mokutle is a 12 year old boy from Lesotho. He lives with his mother, 1 brother and 1 sister. He is in primary school and helps at home by caring for the animals.
Bhekumusa is an 4 year old boy from Swaziland. He lives in a community severely affected by the HIV and AIDS crisis. Bhekumusa likes to play with toy cars.
Nazifah is an 6 year old girl from Uganda. She lives with her parents, 2 brothers and 1 sister. Nazifah is not in school right now. She helps at home by carrying water.
Abia is a 7 year old girl from Tanzania. She lives with her parents and 3 brothers. She is not in school yet. Abia likes to play jumping games and helps at home with the house cleaning.



4 thoughts on “that darn hamstring

  1. I’m really inspired by you, Ms. Rachel! Will be lifting you and your hamstring up 🙂 Let’s hit the road together sometime, okay?!

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