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A Dream Fulfilled Together

On Tuesdays, I’ve been writing about my God-sized dream, but there’s another dream that has been in the works here. Last Saturday, that dream was realized.

I’ve shared my running journey with you, but The Hubby has been on quite the running journey as well. In fact, he is the reason I started running at all.

The Beginning of the Dream

It all began in January of 2012. The Hubby started running and working out to be a better healthy example to his patients. He lost over 40 pounds in the process and discovered a love for running. Within a few months, he had run his first race – 10 miles – and a half=marathon less than two months later!

I was pregnant when he started running, but as soon as I was cleared to start exercising, I decided to give it a go. Running became something we both enjoyed and I worked my way through races, upping my distance slowly along the way.

We ran a half-marathon {my first} together in November and I would not have made it through that crazy course without him.

The Dream Grows

His running dream got a whole lot bigger after that – in fact, it doubled. He signed up for a marathon and got to work training. Marathon training is no joke, my friends. People should get a medal just for making it through training.

When race day arrived, anticipation was high. The boys and I had signs ready and spots picked out along the course to cheer him on. We yelled and screamed and caught the long sleeve shirt he threw at us at mile 6.5, and then cheered on several friends running that day at the same spot before we moved on.

And then he called. He should have still been running, so I was worried right away. He had turned his ankle at mile 9 and finished at the half. It was a major half PR for him, but it was still devastating. I was so proud of him, but I knew it hurt badly to see that dream slip away.

But God wasn’t finished with that dream.

I was all signed up to run my second half-marathon just two weeks later, and when The Hubby’s ankle was feeling better the day after the race, we decided he should register for the full marathon at the same event. He was still in training mode. Two weeks was just the perfect amount of time to try again.

We were blessed that my parents were willing and able to watch the boys so we could make this all happen. We dropped them off Friday afternoon and made our way up to Fargo!

The weather was stormy, which made me more nervous than The Hubby, but thankfully the storms moved out overnight and there was just a light drizzle when my race began. The full started 45 minutes after the half.

Although neither of us knew anyone along the route cheering us on, it was such a cool feeling to know we were both doing this at the same time. This race was my second half, but it was my first solo race, and knowing The Hubby was running twice as far as I was gave me a lot of strength when things got hard.

My first 7 miles were great – humid and warming up, but really fun. Fargo knows how to put on and support a race. The crowds were awesome, the course was flat, I was on a high…until mile 9. I had set three goals ahead of time, and I was still on track with two of them at that time, but the weather and my breathing forced me to adjust the last goal at that point.

I struggled through my last few miles, but I crossed the finish line with a new PR by over 22 minutes: 2:03:23!

And then I collapsed on a volunteer. It wasn’t pretty for a while after that – my lungs and the humidity had battled the whole race and I had given it everything I had and my body needed a little help to recover post-race. The medical volunteers were AMAZING. I am so grateful for their help and smiles and great attitudes.

But all I cared about was where The Hubby was and how his race was going. I am so thankful for friends and family who were able to update me on his progress when the map wouldn’t update on my phone. I said a prayer of thanks when he passed the halfway mark.

And then I waited. The finish line for all of us was in the FargoDome and the atmosphere inside was SO fun – a great distraction! When you see the running community together like that – people of all shapes and sizes and abilities but ALL runners – it is truly inspiring and emotional.

I knew The Hubby’s goal, but I also knew the weather had heated up considerably {anything over 60 makes it harder on runners and it was up to 75 at that point}. My best friend called me to say he had passed the 25 mile mark and I started crying. He was almost done.

The FargoDome had big screens up, two showing the runners as they came in from outside and two showing the finish line. My teary eyes were glued to the screen for any sign of him…

On the Screen blog

I snapped this picture of the screen and then pushed my way to the finish line just in time to yell and scream my heart out as The Hubby finished his first FULL MARATHON in 3:55:47!!! {It was loud in the dome, but he said he heard me loud and clear as he crossed – mission accomplished!}

Marathon Finish blog

DREAM REALIZED.

And now I’m crying again.

Marathon Done blog

I couldn’t be more proud of this guy. The way he trained, the way he rebounded from a setback, the way he persevered through the heat and humidity. And he humbled me by celebrating my race even more than his afterwards. I am blessed beyond measure.

Fargo Finishers blog.jpg

And I can’t even tell you how much it meant to go through that day together. We did separate races, but it felt like it was OUR thing. And there are few things quite as powerful and bonding as supporting each other all the way through to seeing a dream happen and knowing God was directing every step.

And the finisher medals  have Hebrews 12:1 on the back, the coolest reminder ever of just how we came to see the dream realized:

Fargo Medal.jpg

Honey, YOU are a rock star. I love you. What’s next?! :)

I would love to hear your story about dreaming with someone! How did you support one another? How did it improve

It was also part of my dream to raise money for Operation Christmas Child running as part of Team Samaritan’s Purse! We didn’t quite make our goal, but we still raised $238! Thank you SO much to all who donated and prayed for this race! YOU are part of the dream, as well, and a blessing to me!

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Comments

  1. Erin! This is so great to read! I am crying. You (and some other friends of mine) have inspired me to want to start some goals with walking and try running and see where it takes me. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. this is so awesome :)

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  3. Good for you, Erin! What an accomplishment!

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  4. I have no desire ever to start running, much less run a half marathon, but this post got even me excited! :) Congrats to both of you! finding something recreational to do together is great for a marriage!
    Julie Anne recently posted..Sunday Community: Song

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  5. Erin, this is such an inspiring post! I love the perseverance, the dreaming together with your husband, the excitement of both of you finding a love of running. The verse on the back of the medal is perfect! Bless you as you enjoy this new adventure of running together!
    Amy Corley recently posted..on risk and standing in the assembly

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  6. I’m the teensest bit jealous of your husband. :) Great job!
    Randi recently posted..baptism

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  7. You are such an inspiration Erin! Love that you were dreaming big with your man!

    So cool!
    Stacey Thacker recently posted..On Risk and Storms

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  8. Girl! Congrats to the all of you! And, by the way … Your energy in yours words is completely uplifting!

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  9. What a great story! My husband began running 6 years ago to become a healthier dad for his son. Five months later he started with a 5k and four months after that he did his first full marathon (almost 50 pounds lighter), just days after having our second son. As he crossed the finish line, I too cried at what he had accomplished…I was so proud of him! He has continued to run and truly has developed such a love for it and it has been wonderful for our now THREE boys to watch him race. I wanted my sons to see that mom can also race, so in the past year I have run three half marathon, including this past weekend in Fargo. I agree that training is not easy on the runner or the family who waits for him/her to come home, however everyone wins when that finish line is crossed no matter what the time. I am thrilled that my boys are able to see both of us pursuing goals and a healthier lifestyle, but also participating in such a FANTASTIC sport. In no other sport do you see the comradery and support between competitors..everyone just encouraging each other to accomplish one goal….FINISH. Congrats to both you and your husband.

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  10. well done. I’m not a runner but I can cheer you on anyway!!

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