First let me start by saying, I'm extremely proud of my husband. 13.1 miles is an incredibly long way to run under any condition! He trained diligently, he worked hard, he ran even when he didn't want to, and he raced in some of the most dreadful conditions fathomable. But, he did it! Not only did he do it, but in my opinion, he made great time. I love my husband, and what can I say, I'm proud of the man!
It all started back at Christmas. We have always had a gift limit of $40 per person. Because of this, one is forced to be rather creative in their gift giving. I really wanted to do something special this year. Something thoughtful. Something meaningful. Something lasting.
So, I decided to gift my husband with a half-marathon (I know, I'm so thoughtful huh?). I don't remember exactly how I presented it, but as each gift was opened it was revealed to him that I was giving him the ultimate gift of a half-marathon in the Spring. I think I gave him a running magazine, an energy drink, a power bar and training schedule (thanks SaraJane!). His stocking was also full of running-esque stuff. Each gift had a promise attached to it. Namely, a promise to give him the time to train, a promise to learn how to cook more healthy meals for him, and a promise to pack his lunch at least once a week to help him steer clear of grabbing whatever is convenient.
For whatever it's worth, my stocking was full of candy!
You see, my husband used to be an avid runner. When we first got married he'd run steep hills by our barn (yes, we lived in a barn) like they were nothing. He loves to run. It gives him time to think, to clear his head, and to exercise, which is very important for obvious reasons. He's always ran... just less and less with each passing year.
As the years have gone by, the needs of our family and his job have slowly squeezed out his running time. Hence, the gift of specific times to train. And ultimately, I wanted to give him a goal to run toward (pun intended), that would help him feel a sense of accomplishment on the other end.
All of this came to it's culmination on April 3rd. Half-marathon day! We stayed the night in St. Helens and got up nice and early to head through the back hills to Vernonia, Oregon. The race description said it was most flat, paved trails. Perfect!
Well, what the race description didn't say, is that we'd run into several inches of snow on the back roads, that it would start snowing the second the race started, that it was freezing cold, and that due to all the rain, the trails were actually muddy and full of puddles. Oh, and it failed to mention that it ended up at the top of a really steep hill. All minor details though, because my husband is a trooper!
His goal was to live through it and to have more old ladies behind him than in front of him. He accomplished both with gusto! He was muddy, and he didn't smell pretty, but he ran the race, and finished in under 2 hours, which was his hope. Did I mention, I'm proud?
The kids and I also got to enjoy a special treat. After we saw Rob off, we headed a few more miles down the road to visit Rebekah's family. I've been following Rebekah's cancer (and post-cancer) journey for 5 years now. Her daddy was our adoption lawyer and we got the pleasure of meeting their entire family on our Adoption Day. We've followed each others blogs and kept in touch via the world-wide web, and through occasional adoption related phone calls. It's crazy how well I feel like I know them, even though I'd only met them once before last weekend. It's the beauty of the blog world!
Anyway, the kids and I enjoyed the pleasure of their company in their nice warm home while Rob ran in the freezing cold rain and snow. Thanks Adams Family for having us over! This is a wonderful family who has endured more pain and trials in the last 5 years than any family should have to endure in a lifetime. You really should head over to their blog, God is weaving a mysteriously beautiful story of trials, faith and hope as we speak. Rebekah's mommy has recently been diagnosed with Lou Gerig's. I once read a book about it and also watched a movie about it... I still remember both in vivid detail. I can't even begin to imagine living with it. Please hold this family up in your prayers... I know they value them dearly.