This past weekend I ran in the Krispy Kreme Challenge for the fourth year in a row. For those of you who don’t know what the KKC is, let me fill you in. You start at the bell tower at NC State and run to Krispy Kreme. Then you eat twelve glazed donuts and run back to the bell tower. The goal is to do all of this in under an hour. The past three years the total distance has been four miles (two there and two back), but this year they increased it to five miles total.
I had some concerns going into this year. First was the increase in distance. I had barely made the time limit the previous three years, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it with an extra mile added into the mix. Plus, I am not a runner. I do not enjoy running. I would rather get exercise doing just about anything other than running. Running five miles sounded like a terrible idea to me. My next concern was getting injured. Last year when I ran I got plantar fasciitis. I ended up being on crutches for a couple weeks following the race. It was very painful and I did not want to go through that again. I also don’t have the best knees and running outside is one of the easiest ways to get that injury to flair up. Oddly enough, eating the donuts was not a concern. I can eat like a champ.
After much anticipation the race begins. Brian and I arrived at Krispy Kreme after what had seemed like an eternity. Now it is time to eat the donuts. No problem… or so I thought. I took my first bite of my twelve donuts and when the dry, cold donut landed in my dried out mouth I thought to myself, “Why are you doing this Nick? There is no way you can eat these donuts.” I took that thought and shoved it right out of my head. There was no giving up now. If I don’t eat these donuts then I just ran all this way for nothing. So I kicked into high gear and started shoving donuts into my mouth. Before I knew it I had one down, eleven to go. My strategy is to not look at my box, to always have my mouth jam packed with donuts, and to always have a donut in my hand. At some point while I was eating the donuts a news reporter walked past me. She stopped and asked if I wanted to do an interview. I told her I would as long as she didn’t care if I was stuffing my face with donuts during it. This was a race after all. Her exact words were, “I think that will make it even better.” So while I was downing donuts I did an interview for the news (and yes it did make the news later. Click here to check it out). Before I know it, I am done with my donuts and as Brian finishes up his last couple we start towards the course. As we were crossing the gate to the second running leg I saw the clock said 41:20. We had just about thirty minutes to make it back) I knew we could do it. Except for last year, when I got injured, the run back has always been the easier of the two runs for me. I’m not really sure why, but it is. So, back to running we went. Two and a half miles to go and thirty minutes to reach the finish.
I start to get excited. Am I really about to finish the KKC in less than an hour even though they added an extra mile? We ran past the YMCA, only a couple blocks away from the finish line. As I was running around the last traffic circle, I caught a glimpse of the clock at the finish line. The time was at 1:05. We had three minute to cross and finish under an hour! As weird as it sounds, I was proud of the fact that I ran five miles and ate twelve donuts in under an hour. My adrenaline was through the roof and I was smiling pretty big.
The roller coaster of emotions I went through in that hour was pretty crazy. I started the race not expecting myself to finish in time. On the way to Krispy Kreme I wanted to throw in the towel and accept defeat. At Krispy Kreme that desire grew with my first bite of a donut. Every part of me wanted to just give up. It was tough and I didn’t want to deal with it. But then something changed and I became determined to finish. When I was leaving Krispy Kreme and saw the time clock I became optimistic. And a few hundred yards before the finish line I was so happy because I knew I had pushed through and done it.
I would have been so disappointed in myself if I had given up on Saturday. Even if I hadn’t finished in under an hour, I would have been upset with myself. But instead I pushed through and exceeded my expectations. Brian and I finished with a time of 59:09. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” When we allow God’s power to work inside us the results are far more than all we could ask or think. It’s ok to not be able to do it on your own because God doesn’t ask us to. He simply asks us to put our faith in Him when we are weak. He just wants us to turn to him and say, “Hey Dad, I need some help.” When we are willing to do that, He is right there to help us get through whatever it is that stands in our way.
until next time…