So Ryan Decker ran his first half marathon Saturday morning.
The time isn't what's important but I have to brag on him and tell you he covered the 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes with no breaks, no walking, and no stopping!!
This is a half way map we routed. He ran from 7th and Ford in Golden to 41st and Kipling in Wheat Ridge and back.
I biked alongside him with water, power gels, and hopefully some moral support. He seriously kept the best pace and powered through his one and one wall at mile 12. Mile 11 and 12 were literally uphill the entire way and he said it took everything in him not to stop.
I will write more about this over at Reaching For Fringe, but dude got super dehydrated post-race. People with ileostomies are at a very, very high risk for dehydration even without running 13 miles and pouring sweat out of their bodies. That is because their large intestine is bypassed with the ileostomy. Your large intestine is where your body absorbs the majority of your water and if it's not being used you have to drink significantly more water.
Anyway, we did our best to hydrate him but learned a very valuable lesson that his body needs special attention and major electrolytes before and after such a long run. He got feverish, nauseous, flushed, and super sick Saturday afternoon. After an entire jug of Pedialyte (more electrolytes that Gatorade, people!) he perked back up and recovered.
But this half wasn't just a physical race. This run meant so much to both of us for several reasons.
Ryan looking so studly post-race
Background: Friday night and even Saturday morning before the run Ryan felt very attacked spiritually. What we mean by that is satan really let loose lying to his mind and heart about inadequacies, tearing down his confidence, and basically just infiltrating him with self-doubt. It was awful.
Once we realized what was happening we prayed and prayed and Ryan felt some relief. We realize that the enemy would love nothing more than to keep Ryan from racing because this half marathon represented a FULL recovery and no more bondage to Crohn's.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, Ryan is BACK! The hell of 2012 is behind him because we have put in so much hard work and time into rehabilitating Ryan in his body getting healthy and in his heart/mind regaining confidence and purpose.
Finishing this race was a true "suck it Crohn's" moment and signified to us that there is hope in chronic illness. There is overcoming. There is the ability to come back swinging and leave a legacy after such a horrific 2 year upset.
So our weekend was absolutely overflowing with gratitude and thanksgiving. It was a miracle to see my husband running with strength and confidence when he was once small and shattered in a hospital bed. It was such a gift to hear him say out loud, "Thank you, Jesus" as he crossed the finish line because He is the strength of our hearts.
Ryan is alive again, in so many ways....and for that we are thankFULL.
But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me.