It was a beautiful day for a race. The weather was perfect. The only drawback was it was in Bio Mom's town. I spent a lot more of the nearly four hours thinking about our journey and trying to keep her out of my head than I planned. I couldn't help but wonder where she was in relationship to me as I ran through the town.
I thought about the Fab Four and the Quartet. About all of the things we've overcome. I thought about the heartache and how my physical pain while training never came close to feeling that awful. I thought about the chemical pregnancies and the crushed hope of the positive pregnancy tests that two days later turned into a period.
I reminded myself that I am strong. That my feet have not failed me. Nor has my heart. I have done some pretty amazing things in my life and even though every step of mile 12 was painful I was adding a 1/2 marathon to that list. I just had to keep going, a mantra I've been chanting for the past four years.
As I rounded that last bend and I saw my Hubby, brother and sister-in-law cheering for me I got tearyeyed. That's how all big accomplishments should end. A cheering squad of people who love you.
People always talk about how running allows you to clear your head and cleanse the mind. I've found that to be true. It's not the actual running I enjoy. It's the way it makes me feel when I'm done. It took me almost six months to consider myself a runner. I'm not fast. I'm not thin. (Although I'm several inches thinner than when I started.) But I showed up to the start line and crossed back over the finish just like everyone else.
I will tell you this: being a foster parent is way harder than running 13.1 miles. That takes somewhere between 2 and 4 hours of a weekend. Foster parenting is every day. It's got bigger hills and harder road and takes way more fight and an even bigger heart.
Just like foster parenting, I'm going to keep going. I'm registered for two more runs to continue to train for the Disney 1/2 marathon in February. I'm not going for a "goal change" now!