When Brad and I began the adoption process way back in May, we knew that the late summer and fall would be a time of waiting. Early in the process there is a lot of paperwork to do, a lot of forms to fill out, and a lot of training to complete. Once those things are all finished, you simply have to wait. Wait for forms to be approved and authenticated. Wait for documents to be sent to China. Wait for China to translate and approve the documents. And wait to be matched with a child.
In order to pass the time, we decided to find something that we could do together. For us, that decision was to train for and run a marathon.
We began our official training in late July with the goal of running the Harrisburg Marathon in November. We followed a training plan that had us doing shorter runs and speed work during the week and long runs on the weekend. Each weekend we would add miles until we completed our longest pre-race run of 20 miles!
The Harrisburg Marathon started just a short drive from our house, so we were excited to be able to sleep in our own bed the night before the race. We got to the starting line in plenty of time to meet up with our friends Jay and Katie, who came to cheer us on.
We could not have asked for a nicer November day. It was a little bit chilly when we started, but by mile three we were ready to shed our long sleeves.
The race took us all throughout Harrisburg, across the river to Lemoyne, and wayyyyy up North Front Street. It was so nice to have people cheering us along, especially when Jay and Katie appeared several times along the course.
We stayed with the four hour pace group for about 2/3 of the way. Running 26.2 in under 4 hours was our reach goal (just finishing was our biggest goal!) but we hoped to finish under 4:15. Around mile 18 we started to slow down a bit. At mile 20, everything started to hurt. Seriously.
At at that point, there was no way that we were not going to finish. After some extra water, gu packets, and conversations about that we wanted to eat when we were finished (tacos, ice cream, pizza…), the finish line was in sight.
We ran across the finish line together, finishing in 4 hours and 7 minutes – well under our goal time!
It was quite a feat for us to accomplish this goal. Running 26.2 miles was something that I wasn’t sure that I could do, but running together was an amazing experience.
We cannot wait to tell our future little one all about this adventure someday.
A very special thank you to Jay and Katie who were there to cheer us on the whole time. A marathon is just as mental as it is physical, so having friendly, encouraging people along the course to cheer you on is incredible. Jay and Katie were there from the beginning and were waiting as we crossed the finish line 4 hours later! They helped us get food and water, and even drove us back to our car. We can’t say thank you enough for your friendship and encouragement. We love you guys!