If I had to think about my most important run of the year it would not be my last marathon or even my big race tomorrow- The Fast Firecracker… I would honestly say it is the run I get to do with my daughter on her birthday. Sure, we run together a few times during the year but there is something special about being the first one to see the birthday girl in the morning and spending the first part of her day with her. Just the two of us working on a goal together.
This was the second year she wanted to run her birthday year in miles. We started this tradition when she turned nine. (Up until that point she had run one 10K and figured what was 3 more miles?) I wasn’t sure if she would want to do this again but a few weeks ago she mentioned wanting to run 10 miles on her 10th birthday.
Her training: She is not following any specific training plan. She’s a kid! She is active and loves most sports. Most of her “training” came from her participation in to 100 Mile club at her school the past two years. (Great program, by the way!) She runs in many of the local 5k’s and has done a total of three 10k’s in her life. She finished her last one in around 54 minutes.
|around mile 3.5
|I texted John this pic of the halfway point- we made it to Harp’s!|
The run back home was tough. She was tired and it was hot. I poured water on her and we stopped for her to drink water several times. I asked her if she just wanted me to call John to get us but she said no. She wanted to finish.
I would say running 10 miles as a 10 year old is probably the adult equivalent to running a marathon. She “hit the wall” at mile 8.6 and we stopped a few minutes for another break. I texted John to let him know how it was going. She was determined to finish her 10 miles no matter how long it took.
I told her that she was strong and she could do it. I told her that this would probably be the hardest thing she would do the whole year that she was 10. I don’t know if this is true. Obviously I don’t know what will happen to her or anyone in our family this next year. I guess I would like to think that overcoming one challenge makes a person stronger so they are ready when the next one comes their way. During the next year I want her to remember that she was able to overcome something that was really hard and if she could do that then she could do anything. We only listened to one song during the run and it was when we started back up after 8.6. I have all kinds of music on my running playlist and this is a good one. The words really fit with what I knew Abi needed to hear.
|Overcomer by Mandisa|
|yes, that’s right- Tom Hanks in A League of their Own|
Right around 9.5 I saw a little kid off in the distance. Then another. Then I recognized the group ahead in the distance. It was John and the younger three. He had brought the kids out to the last quarter mile of the trail to cheer Abi on to the finish. We had no idea they were planning to do this but it was just the motivation she needed to finish strong.
|John snapped this one of us as we finished|
She did it!
This little run was a very memorable part of her 10th birthday. While we were running I was definitely thinking about where I was ten years ago. I was laying in a hospital bed, with over half my body still paralyzed on the epidural following the c-section. But none of that mattered because I was holding my precious new born baby girl.
|July 1, 2004|
Being a parent these past ten years has not been easy. In fact, it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve learned so much and I can only imagine what’s in store the next decade. (In 3 years I’ll have a teenager?!!) But there is SO MUCH joy and love found in many moments of parenting. It is hard but SO worth it!
|4 completely different personalities|
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