Well..... I survived it!
I had never before ran a distance, but have been running on a treadmill and working out, building my endurance since October. I was fully intending to run a 5K (3.1miles) soon, but this 10K kinda happened!
It was a struggle emotionally and mentally, for sure. Out of the first 3.5 miles, a little over 3 was uphill, and pushing Gabriella in a stroller while tackling it was a feat. Convincing myself I could do it was difficult, seeing as how I'm stubborn and that flows into my internal battles! We ran the first mile, half of the 2nd, walked the 3rd, ran half the 4th, all of the 5th, walked about a quarter of the 6th but finished off running. The hills for the first 3.5 miles made it hard to see what I could really do, but towards the end Gabriella kept cheering me on telling me I could win it. That along kept my legs moving!
By the 4th mile, Paul ran ahead of me and it was just Gabriella and I. I thought of all of the kiddos who are now smiling in pictures as I see updates on Facebook or blogs and figured if they could smile after all they had fought through, I could manage 91 minutes of running. I started envisioning Gabriella the day after transplant, walking the halls of Loma Linda. I had never had more of a hero than I did at that moment, and knew that if she could do that, I could take my healthy body and able legs to the finish line. But I had to think of myself, too. When I really step back to see what I managed to trudge through while I grasped onto faith that my daughter would live, laying sleepless at the foot of her hospital bed while she fought for her life post-stroke, faithfully making sure she met every appointment and therapy and worked on her words at home, never backing down from an insurance company or state service in getting Gabriella what she needed, and trying to be the best wife and mother to PJ amidst it all.... I could run this.
I finished in 91minutes. Not the greatest time ever, but the first 2 words mean more... I finished. And the best part was Gabriella hopped out of the stroller at mile marker 6 (adorning the adorable face of our friend Owen) and ran the last .2miles with me!
I was so pumped after this run, that I took advantage of signing up for the Walk for Wishes, benefiting Make-a-Wish. We all know how much I love my Make-a-Wish and Ronald McDonald House Charities!!! I had fully intended to volunteer but made other plans for the weekend and never signed up. When my plans fell through, I was super excited to sign up and run the 5K there! The team I created is called 'Hearts for Wishes', and I made the team name more general so other heart moms or just friends could sign up! There is a 1 mile walk, 5K walk and 5K run.