It was our daughter-in-law, Morgan, who first started all of this "marathon talk." She said that she had always wanted to run a Half-Marathon, and that this year seemed like the perfect time. She and Logan have had a lot of changes in their lives since last May: Logan graduated from college, they got married, they moved TWICE after that, she's still in school, he got a new job...and they are navigating everything involved in the newly married life.
When she told me she was thinking about running the Little Rock Half-Marathon, I was excited for her. There's not much Morgan can't do, athletically speaking. She is very strong, physically and mentally. She is driven and goal-oriented. I knew she had what it was going to take to realize this goal. I told her that I would ask Jim...I was pretty sure he would want to run it with her. He has really gotten into running, and it just seemed like something he would want to do. Morgan seemed happy that she might have a buddy in this endeavor.
I mentioned it to Jim and he was, like, "NO. Nope. I have NO DESIRE to run a half-marathon. None at all. I just want to get faster at running a 10k."
When Clark's girlfriend, Faith, heard about it from Morgan...she was ALL IN. She and Morgan began talking and texting, and figuring out training plans. This was back in September. And, as I figured, it wasn't about 2 seconds until Jim was on board, too.
MEN. Why does everything have to be their idea?
All 3 of them have been working hard and training really hard. There have been some minor injuries, lots of sore muscles...and the bad weather we've had lately has hampered training for my outdoor-running people.
The day of the race, we were up early. Jim was nervous. Checking and re-checking everything., changing what he had planned on wearing at the last minute, and wondering about everything he was eating and drinking. Over at Faith's house...she was the same way.
Contrast that to Morgan...who quickly got ready, and then sat at our kitchen table and quietly ate her breakfast. She was as cool as a cucumber.
The weather, tho? Was as cool as a popsicle. In Antartica. On the top of a glacier. In the rain.
We met up with Faith's parents...and then Morgan's parents came and we all stood there and talked. We took "before" pictures and gave hugs and last-minute encouragement. The runners lined up and the race started. The three families all split up and we each went our own way. My family walked around until we found a diner...and we ordered coffee and sat there until we warmed up. We got out the map and made a plan to try and see the runners at different stops along the way. We have the "find my phone" app on our phones, and so we were able to track Morgan. She was FLYING (Jim had left his phone in the car, and Faith's phone wasn't cooperating)! We were able to see the race route and see places where we might get to see them along the way.
We did a LOT of walking...which, if you remember, Joshua does not like a lot of walking.
He also does not like cold...rain...and cold rain.
We were able to see Morgan one time along the race route, and we saw Faith twice. We never did see Jim.
At one of our first stops, we were standing on a corner as a bunch of the runners came by. All of a sudden, Logan yells, "there's HAYDEN!" and took off running toward the runners. It was one of his best friends from High School. Logan didn't know Hayden would be running in the race. And even tho spectators were supposed to stay on the sidelines, and even tho the rules stated that if someone came out and ran without an official racing bib, they would be considered a "bandit"...my Logan went running out to see his friend, and ran about 1/4 of a mile with him.
It was the sweetest thing ever...first, because I know how much he misses his friend. And second, because he was wearing Morgan's backpack that was stuffed full of the things she might need. When I saw him running up to his friend with that backpack on, it just instantly took me back to when he was a little boy...wearing a little backpack...running up to his little friends at school. It's hard to believe he's a 23 year old married man.
"Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don't remember getting older. When did they?"
Joshua kept saying, " I sure am worried about Morgan. I hope she's okay. I'm not too worried about Dad and Faith...I'm mainly worried about Morgan."
He has a serious crush on his sister-in-law.
She was the strongest, fastest one of the bunch. Did not need to worry about her, but there's no stopping Joshua!
Morgan finished first with a time of about 2:08. Her goal was 2:20, so she was impressed! Jim finished around 2:28. His goal was 2:20, so he was not as impressed with that. I'm not for sure of Faith's final time, but it was under 3 hours, and that was her goal: to finish in under 3 hours.
Isn't funny how different people react to circumstances?
Morgan said that, along the race route, there were stations where the runners could get water and Gatorade. She said that she got a sip or two of water two different times. She said that she also grabbed pretzels, an orange and a donut hole. If they were passing it out, she was grabbing it. She must have a cast-iron stomach! Jim was too afraid to eat anything, and Faith brought pretzels in her spi-belt. She said that all of the food on the route was about to make her sick. She asked Morgan, "did you see where they were passing out tater tots? GROSS!" Morgan said, "WHERE? Because I totally would've eaten some tater tots if I had seen them!"
Isn't it funny how everyone has a different perspective on things?
I was just so thankful that everyone finished with good times. Everyone finished strong. No one required medical care after the race. Hopefully, the rest of us won't catch pneumonia or anything from being out in that weather!
"My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside." Job 23:11