Behind the Scenes: The Finish

Hey, friends…breakin’ the rules a bit today and posting a video.

(Special thanks to my friend, Chris, for shooting this gem, a word I use loosely here.) 😉

Raceway Wood 5k Finish from Tobin Schroeder on Vimeo.

I’ve been a runner for several years…runner, as in I’d go out and run/walk/run some more, maybe a mile or two at a time.

About two years ago, determined to get that pesky baby weight off, I decided to really run…and started training and doing 5k’s and worked on slashing my time down. I’m still no star, but I can pull around a 28:00 5k, sometimes-a-little-faster-sometimes-not, and I’m happy with that. Running is something I enjoy, and it’s a good way to have a little me time before the crazy of a day begins.

I crank up my playlist of worship music, sing along, spend some time in prayer…and though the hardest thing is to take the first ten steps, I am always, always glad I took the time for it each morning.

This past Saturday I ran a 5k at a place in our community called Raceway Woods. It was actually a famous racetrack several decades ago, and this 5k was the first organized race event there since the late 60’s. A few friends and I signed up, and since I’ve been running and training (well, for the most part) this summer…heck, why not?

Let me tell you one thing, friends.

Ignorance is bliss.

Well, as much bliss as can be found in a place that has so many hills.

I look decently strong at the end of this video, but what you can’t see is all…and I do mean ALL…of the behind the scenes.

The race itself was SO. HARD.

I had no clue…zero…what I’d signed up for, other than 3.1 miles. Maybe that was why I actually showed up for the race. 😉

The first mile was a breeze because it was downhill. I pulled it in 8:18…and my quickest pace on a 5k is around a 8:45…needless to say, that was good motivation to keep my feet moving.

At the beginning of the second mile, there were a few smaller hills…nothing horrible, nothing I loved. Just kind of in-between.

And then, toward the end of the second mile, I encountered it, huffing and puffing what felt like my last-ever-earthly breaths.

It stared me down like Mt. Everest towers over an ant.

I. Couldn’t. Run. It.

In fact, I’m not exactly sure how I made it up that hill, but I eventually found the top of it. (I think it took a long time, though…and potentially for part of that mountain climb, I even slipped into a semi-delusional state.)

And while mile #3 was nowhere near as hilly, it was mostly gravel.

Gravel = just not as fast.

So you see me pushing with all I have at the finish, but really, I just want this race to be over.



Finito. (Is that a word? It is now. ;))

Two days later, I’m still feeling it. It’s mostly good pain, but it’s pain.

And maybe it’s not so much the pain of the actual race but the fact that last week was so up and down, just like that 5k. I had some really amazing highs (hello, getting published!) and some heartbreaking lows (maybe later).

Maybe it’s a good metaphor for me…this race.

Maybe it’s the reminder my heart needs that I can’t always call the shots and run a smooth, perfectly flat (or even downhill!) course. There are going to be those twists and turns and climbs that make me come to the point where I just have to push on in a strength that’s not my own.

Maybe it’s a reminder, too, that sometimes the pain we feel is good, even if it still hurts…because it’s a reminder that He heals.

And, that He can still work in spite of the pain.

I’m still in processing mode, but I don’t think it’s an accident that I ran that race on this particular Saturday.

My time was slower…and it took me a day or so to be ok with it.


Thirty-one minutes and twenty-seven seconds of sweat and tears. (No blood this time, thankfully.)

And a reminder that He’ll stick with me and help me finish strong, no matter what the course looks like.


Happy Tuesday, y’all! As usual, I’m hanging out at Crystal’s place, joining some of my favorite bloggers for our weekly link up.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

I hope you’ll take some time to hop over for some funny and sweet stories that are guaranteed to give you a deeper glimpse into the moments that make up our days. Thanks so much for stopping by, friends!



  1. Love it, Mel. I have written a couple posts talking about God meeting me in my running. During my first 5k in Wyoming when I wasn’t sure I was used to the altitude yet (seriously, 6000 ft compared to near sea level of Alabama?!?) At the end of that race I wanted to quit, but God was there to be my lungs and my legs and get me across that line. I know exactly how you feel! I used to train (in Alabama) on the hilly trails around the lake on post. I loved it. I miss it. Yet I haven’t run since the tough mudder. Way to go, friend. You should be proud of that time given the challenges! (I still have yet to break a 30 min 5k!!!) Email me when you can… and know I’m cheering you on always!!!

    • Thanks, friend…you are a blessing in so many ways. Email coming soon…and prayers for you, too! (And bring your running shoes to Allume!) :)

  2. What a brilliant achievement, Mel. I walk 1km on the treadmill and I am flagging. ON the TREADMILL! We all have to start somewhere, no? I know how beneficial being in your own physical space is and I get what you say when you spend time listening to spiritually uplifting music and in in prayer. In Buddhism, we have what is called “Walking Meditation”, the benefits of which are:

    1.One is fit for long journeys
    2.One is fit for striving
    3.One has little disease
    4.That which is eaten, drunk, chewed, tasted, goes through proper digestion
    5.The composure attained by walking up & down is long-lasting.

    I am very sure that running has the same benefits and that being in a state of prayer while engaged in running has a similar effect.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. Way to go friend!! I am going to run my first 5k ever in October for the Ghost and Goblins run in Carmel, IN. We are even going to dress up! Ha! I ran my farthest distance without stopping 2 weeks ago (2 miles) and thought I might die. Baby steps! I also new to run more than once a week. A small group of gals and I run every Tuesday night (we are even deciding on a name fir ourselves…Buns on the Run or Twisted Blisters)…but there is something about running with a jogging stroller that is not my favorite. I know I need to suck it up and just get my butt out there if I’m ever going to run a 5k without stopping! I would be happy with your time, for sure!! Love this part of your post: “Maybe it’s the reminder my heart needs that I can’t always call the shots and run a smooth, perfectly flat (or even downhill!) course.” Happy Tuesday friend!

    • So, first…awesome! You go girl…you’ll enjoy the race, especially since you’re running it with a group of friends. Make sure you write about it and post pictures! And, um, two…I had no idea you live in Indiana. I’m in the NW Chicago burbs, so if you’re ever in the area, you should let me know…our little girls need a play date, and these mamas need a coffee date! :) Blessings and happy week to you!

  4. I love that you do this! I would be really happy if I could do a 5K in 31 min! 😉 One of these days I will get serious and train…I just haven’t had the motivation!! But I am super proud of you!

  5. Way to Go Mel!!! I’ve tried a couch to 5K – once. I failed horribly, but in my dreams I am a runner- A Fast Runner!
    Proud of you for running- you inspire me to lace up my own running shoes (yes, I have some…brand new!)!

  6. Super proud of you friend!!! I’ve just gotten back into running (seriously just yesterday). I haven’t run in over a year due to injury and a heart attitude that just wasn’t right. So I am trucking on and trying to get a 5K under my belt before the winter. Keep looking up friend… God will give you everything you need for the race…

    • Good for you! You can do it, friend…and if you bring your running shoes to Allume, I’ll go for a run with you! :) Thank you for the encouragement, too…you are a blessing. Hope you have a great week!

  7. This is fantastic! In your blog you show endurance in more ways than one- spiritually and physically! I love reading your words, friend!
    Hey, I posted a video today also! I’m glad I’m not cheating alone! :)

  8. Running I just do not get. Finishing something that is hard? I get that! I’m so proud of you for finishing strong! Way to go!!!

  9. Wow. That sounds like a punishing race. I think you are right that running that race on that day had a purpose for you. Keep looking for the purpose. Wishing you a less painful week!

  10. Girl I am so proud and inspired by you. I have never been a runner but a couple of years ago after my knee replacement I thought I would try a 1 mile walk/run. I didn’t know what I was doing when I signed up for one that was just 1 month away for the first day I even tried to run on the new knee. I finished it but have not done any more running since. Maybe it is time I try again based on my post today (LOL!!!!)

    • :) You are such an encourager, friend…thank you! I actually recommend the Couch to 5k program. We use it with a group from our church, and I like it because it eases you into running…lots of run/walk, and I’m a fan of workouts like that. :) Have a great week, Amy!

  11. I love this! Way to go and to push through and finish strong! I took up running for about a year… ran a few 5Ks trying to get myself over a plateau (which I still have not done)… I was shocked that I actually like it… I was not fast… I think my best time was still a few minutes over your time here… but I was running(ish)! In fact, I’ve been thinking about getting back to it because I actually miss it (a little!) Visiting from Crystals’ #BehindtheScenes today!

    • Good for you! I know…there’s something strangely wonderful about running. (I’ll openly admit that I dread going and actually taking those first few steps, but once I’m off, it’s all good. :)) Have a great week, friend!

  12. Mel – you look amazing and strong. I’m happy for you. And let’s be honest, a little envious. As someone who’s mobility has diminished severely in the last couple of years, I look at runners and walkers and try to to think, “why not me too?” But at the same time, try to let those images of sleekly moving grace inspire me to keep moving so that one day I will be off these damaged joints and moving again. Believe me, He does work in spite of the pain. You must feel SUCH a sense of accomplishment. I dream of a 5K (I’d love to do the Color Run someday), and so happy for your discovery on this particular run. Keep going! You are fabulous.

    • Oh, friend…thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry you’ve had so much pain…praying that the Color Run will happen for you someday! And, yes, I think that one would be amazing…it’s on my running bucket list! :) Thank you for the sweet encouragement today…praying your week is fantastic! (((hugs)))

  13. Oh girl, I am not a runner {love to walk like the best of them though} It overwhelms me to think how faithful God is and how in our times of doubt and weakness he shows up. He shows up holding our hand, pushing us on, and being that voice of constant encouragement. Way to finish strong and accept his nudge :) BTW love the word “Finito.”

    • Haha…thanks. I actually went to google translate because I was pretty sure I didn’t make it up. For the record, it’s Italian for “finished”…so, bonus! I even used it in the right context! 😉 And thanks for the encouragement, too…blessings and happy week to you, friend! :)

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