It’s been quite a while since I last wrote, and I promise my intentions were good. It’s been a little over a month since I finished my second half marathon with my awesome and inspiring friend, Kerry! To say that my race weekend was amazing would be an understatement. Leading up to the race, I was feeling so nervous, anxious, and I would get all kinds of butterflies. Flash forward to the Friday before my race, and my husband and I got some incredibly exciting news! We were expecting our first child!! In that moment, everything felt surreal. My weird stomach issues were instantly explained, and even before I told my husband, I was on the phone with my doctor to make sure that I was in the clear to run my race. I felt even more passionate about finishing my race knowing that I wanted the best future for our little one, and the world they were going to be coming in to. My doctor encouraged me to run my race, but to do so while keeping my heart rate low. So, with that information and a little running partner, my husband and I set off for Orlando to stay with our friends and celebrate this new journey we were starting.
Flash forward to race morning…for any moms out there, I’m sure that all of you can relate with not feeling the greatest during the first weeks of pregnancy. My morning, however, started with a Questbar before the race and one to eat along the way during the race. When Kerry and I arrived at the race morning, it was dark and a little chilly for Orlando. We pulled up to the building where I used to work and I could already feel the excitement building up! I felt so at home in Lake Nona when we lived there, and I still feel so comfortable in that area of Orlando. The race was packed with people getting ready, and we made our way to our spots. Kerry and I run at different paces, so we made a plan to meet at the end of the race. Just before the race, one of the guests of honor gave a special “Good Luck” announcement to all of the runners. That’s when the waterworks started that day. I started to feel the excitement, adrenaline, and sentimental moments building up. Lake Nona was my home and where I really found myself as an adult. It was where my husband and I had our first home together, and it where we would spend our weekends when we dated. Every step of the race, I felt myself explaining to our little one what cherished moments had happened at the locations I passed. The whole 13.1 miles, I was narrating our story, my story, internally to my little running buddy.
When I got to mile 8, I realized that all of the emotions were making it a little difficult to keep my heart rate down. So, I decided to slow down and walk it out a little bit. By mile 9, I seriously thought about throwing in the towel. I was tired, hungry, nauseous, and emotional. But, all that keptrunning through my head were the pictures I’d seen on the Girls on the Run websites and the thought that I was thinking of quitting not because I couldn’t do it, but because I was tired. That moment when I thought of GOTR, is what got me through my last 4.1 miles of the race. I couldn’t wait to get home and share what a wonderful and life-changing experience my race weekend had been. I am incredibly grateful for Girls on the Run and especially for Emely who has made being a SoleMate so incredibly easy and rewarding! I’ve decided to take it easy on the running and races during my pregnancy, but I plan to come back after our little one is born and continue being a SoleMate! Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement along the way! I hope everyone has a blessed Holiday Season!
Stephenie & My Little Running Buddy
FAVORITE RACE MOMENTS:
- Crossing the finish line and running straight into my husband’s arms
- The gorgeous sunrise overlooking one of my favorite sections of Lake Nona
- The thought of everyone with Girls on the Run cheering for me to finish
- Sharing this moment with my little running buddy. It was the perfect way to start my pregnancy off on the right foot!