May 7, 2016
AGAPE Run for a Mom takes place each year on Mother's Day Weekend. Proceeds from this run help assist women facing crisis pregnancies and find forever homes for children. Many of the participants dedicate this run to their mothers or other special women in their lives. This race has grown over the years attracting several hundred participants.
This was my fifth year participating in this race with my mom. Mom took a break from running after the St.Jude Half Marathon in December. She was still experiencing a lot of pain in her hips. She had several follow up appointments with orthopedics and was doing physical therapy. She was cleared to walk and run slowly for short intervals.
Mom wanted to sit this race out because she knew she wouldn't do as well as she had in year's past. I didn't want to break our annual tradition. I was able to convince her to walk it with me. Four years ago my mom held back with me for this race. This was only my 3rd 5K and she helped me pace to meet my goal of running a 5K without stopping. This race wasn't about time goals or age group placements. It was about spending quality time with my mom.
Mom and I walked and talked the entire time. It reminded me of when we used to do loops around the neighborhood together when I was younger. I really enjoyed our conversation. Crossing the finish line together meant more to me than any age group award.
I have my mom to thank for instilling my love for running. I doubt she expected me to go this far with running when she asked me to do my first 5K for her birthday in March 2012. Mom and I have always had an unbreakable bond. I never imagined our bond could grow any stronger until she introduced me to running.
In the beginning we did every race together. We began training for our first half marathon together. We met halfway to complete long runs on early summer mornings. We lifted each other up when our first half marathon was cancelled. We went on to finish our first half marathon two months after that cancellation. Mom helped me pace conservatively for the first half of my first full marathon. Turns out I helped her reach a sub 2:30 half marathon that day. We qualified for half fanatics together. We teamed up to run with Ainsley's Angels. We've had a lot of unforgettable experiences through running. We've been there for each other on the good, the bad, and the ugly races.
This was our last race together. A lot has happened since this race in May that has kept my mom from running. I hope that my mom will return to running once things settle down. However, I want her to do what she feels is best for her. I don't want her to continue to run if she is in pain and cannot enjoy it.
I miss my running partner, but I know that she wants me to continue without her for now. My mom has always been there to support and encourage my aspirations. I trust and confide in her with anything and almost everything. She's not just my Mom, she's my best friend.