When we started Abi’s birthday run in 2013 we had no idea what it would turn into or how long we would keep it up. Here we are 6 years later and somehow the tradition continues.
We’ve has years we ran on the streets near our house, one year in Ohio when we were visiting family, and last year was on vacation in Gulf Shores. I actually wasn’t sure if we were going to do it this year because her training in June wasn’t ideal. She spent one week at camp and then another two weeks out with strep throat. Her longest run was 7 miles. It wasn’t very promising but she wanted to try.
This year July 1st was on a Sunday and we knew we would need to start early if we were going to try to beat some of the heat and make it to late service. We decided to run on the Arkansas River Trail so we wouldn’t have to deal with traffic and on the plus side it was much more scenic.
Even at a very relaxed pace this was one of her harder birthday runs. I carried 2 handheld water bottles so we could have water anytime and we took walking breaks when needed.
I’d say the hardest stretch was between miles 7 and 8, right after we turned around. We broke the run into small sections and focused on getting to the next checkpoint. Once we made it to mile 12 things got a little easier for Abi. We crossed the final bridge and finished.
Abi’s birthday run is a true test of perseverance. It’s all about finishing. Each year I remind her that this might be the hardest thing she does all year. At least I hope it is. I want her to know that she is strong and that she can do hard things.
A few other takeaways… running more than 7 miles would make things much better next time!! Also, we need to go somewhere a little cooler on July 1st!
So proud of my little girl and thankful to be her mother. When did my baby grow up?! It’s all going by way too fast!