This was one of THE. MOST. INCREDIBLE. EXPERIENCES. of my life.

I had two main goals. 1) That I finish the marathon (and preferably in under five hours– although I don’t know if I ever spoke that out loud for fear it was asking too much) and 2) That I beat at least one person (I kept envisioning the little workers trying to clean everything up before I could get across the finish line :))

Y’all, I finished in 4hrs and 12min…I beat a lot people (if I do say so myself :)) and the run itself was breathtaking

and FUN. I wish I could count the number of times I whispered, “Thank you Jesus!” on the first half (the second half, the prayers were a little less filled with thanksgiving) of the run. I knew it was Him. It was your prayers. I ran faster and felt better than I have on ANY long run. And all those people cheering on the sidelines…made me want to cry. I wanted to hug them all. When I crossed the half marathon point at just under 2 hours, I thought, “I could do this all day!”

Weeellll, reality set in about 2 miles later, but it was still ok. Want to know why? This man:
ran with me the rest of the way. It still makes me cry. He carried sloshing cups of water so that I could drink at places besides the water stations (that began to feel impossibly far apart to my dehydrated self). He encouraged me to take down those (nasty) goo packs for energy and kept up a constant chant of how amazing I was (which, at that point especially, was not true in the least :)). He had work in Birmingham, but still flew in for barely 36 hours, just so he could be there. He brought me a “marathon present” from my favorite store. He even sent us a good luck basket. Jeremiah took “supportive” to a whole new level and it felt…humbling and beautiful and made me want to be better for him
I have REALLY digressed. Back to the “Mainly”s

Mainly…I love this group of people. We had a BLAST together. We ate…and ate…and ate… and ate…

I never want to take another trip without Ashley :).
Dr. Bonantz. Oh, what can I even say? He was our fearless leader. Throughout the training, the traveling, the moral support. He has such a big heart, and such a funny (cute) little German accent, that I cannot imagine this whole experience without him in it. After he finished the marathon, he ran BACK (Can you FATHOM running 26.2 miles and then RUNNING anywhere out of choice?) first for Ashley and then (much later :)) for me. I’ll never forget the site of him rounding the corner just before I got back to the finish line and screaming, “Look Jeremiah! It’s Ekkehard!” I knew I was almost home, and he was going to be dang sure I got there…

Well, this isn’t even my real post. I was just trying to hit the MAIN points. It, as always, got much longer than anticipated. But, I have lots more pictures and story to tell. So I’ll be back soon. Right now though, I have to go pick up my little chicken wings in Dothan! If I don’t get my lips on them soon, I might explode. See you soon, and thank you, thank you, thank you again for your support and prayers. I CAN’T BELIEVE I FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 Responses to “Mainly…”

  1. Bon says:

    I have a big grin on my face, and it's all for you Abby!

    Congratulations! You did it!

  2. Lauren says:

    …so should I ask?? when is the next one??!

  3. Mary T. says:

    Abby, I sent you that email a few mths back about my friend- anyway, So proud of your finish! Dang! I've run a few and 5 hours was always my 'under' time and I barely get under. But what an accomplishment. It is such an amazing feeling to finish- congrats to you! And yes, when is the next, b/c there will be another- it's addicting!
    Mary T. Miller

  4. Tara says:

    Congratulations Abby! You did it! I want you to know that you have inspired me to get my running shoes back out after a 4 month hiatus AND run farther than I ever have before! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey!

  5. Konie says:

    Way to go sweet Abby! Sounds like your marathon turned into a sweet love story : ) I had a friend in Annapolis running the Marine Marathon (believe in D.C.) the same day…her email was like a love story too. Thanks for sharing : ) I'm so proud of you!!!!!!! YAY ABBY!!!!!!!

  6. jj says:

    That is incredible! Congratulations! I can't wait to hear more about it! Have fun picking up your precious two!

  7. Blueprint Bliss says:

    Abby- Congrats. I knew you would do great. How sweet of Jeremiah… that just melts my heart! 🙂

  8. Fittsy says:

    I cried reading this. (Can you tell I just had a baby?) Sweet Jeremiah! I'm so thrilled for your success. I thought of and prayed for you often that morning.


  9. Beth Goff says:

    YEAH!!! That's so awesome!! What an experience for sure! Congrats!!

  10. Kelly says:

    good for you!! my inner runner is so jealous. my bad knees keep reminding me to live vicariously thru you and other runner friends. : )

  11. Emily says:

    I was sobbing as I read this post. Everything you wrote about today…that is love. Your dedication, the way your husband, family, and friends have supported you, your excitement to see your little "chicken wings,"…that is all love. Breaks my heart in a great way. Congratulations!

  12. Susannah says:

    Congratulations Abby! I knew you could do it!! And you look so skinny and cute doing it too! 🙂 Those pictures are great! And how sweet of Jeremiah!! Good for you! And to finish in 4 hours and 12 minutes-WOW! 🙂

  13. Hillary @ The Other Mama says:

    Hooray! What an awesome accomplishment! Great job!! What an awesome praise!

  14. Brandi Bartee says:

    Congratulations Abby and thanks so much for sharing. I just cried my eyes out reading your post. It was so inspiring and encouraging. The meds I am on for this awful sinus infections may have caused the eyes to water so much but I think it was really from reading your wonderful post. I am so proud of you and what a wonderful husband you have. Go Jeremiah!

  15. Gail says:

    Just when the world can seem so blue…YOU pop in and bring a BIG OLE' :O) YOU did GREAT, GREAT, GREAT! I loved that you loved it all, too….and OHHHH that sweet, loving, kind husband of yours…Truly I remember his MAMA when— she, too, was running and carrying him along inside of her! What support you had! I haven't seen a PIC' of LIL' Ashly in a long time. She looks so great, too! I can't wait to learn about this fun time! Did you love The Cape? Duh…. LOL… Blessings and thanks for sharing!

  16. Tegan says:

    Okay, so when i got to the part where Jeremiah ran with you i cried! How precious is he???!!! I have always wanted to do a marathon, I remember the rush I felt after just doing a 1/2, i have been too terrified to try. You really have inspired me (after I birth this baby of course!!) It seems like a support group is half the battle?? I'll have to find that!!!! You are so precious and I'm so proud of you! Not many people get to say that finished a marathon! I really hope to see you soon….

  17. Kellie says:

    So proud of you, while I was running my measly 4 miles past the Quad on AL vs TN game day, I was praying for you – that God would give you strength and endurance and peace – He's a good and faithful God, by the way! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME – I just might try it now – know of any people I can train with in Tuscaloosa? J/K – can't wait to hear more!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    i've only ran a half marathon. i felt the same way about the experience. the run was a beautiful path, and just seeing the people and hearing them yelling for me and others….was enough to make me teary eyed. i ran the derby festival marathon and i'll never forget as i ran through churchill downs. the sun was just starting to break, i could see the steeples in the distance, the smell of the dirt track, and there were some thorobreds practicing, i guess for the upcoming derby that was occuring the next day, and all could do was thank God that i live in one of the most beautiful places, my old kentucky home.

    congrats on your accomplishment!

  19. The Wilson's says:

    I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! That is AWESOME!! So sweet of Jeremiah, I knew he could not miss it!

  20. Carly Winborne says:

    bless your heart. i thought about you this weekend, wondering how your run was going and how it went. so glad to check in with you today and see just a wonderful post. what a blessing you and your husband are to each other. i'm sure his heart was bursting with pride for you, just as yours was with love for him. what a pair you two make!

  21. Lindsey says:

    Congrats! I am so encouraged! Maybe I'll get to run a 5K one day. Gotta start somewhere?! You did awesome!

  22. Kellie says:

    Hey! I wanted to add something – your story brought back a memory (actually while I was running this morning!!) When I was in high school or college I can remember saying to myself and to other girls when we were stressed out about not having a boyfriend or the "right" guy in our lives…

    "My goal is to live my life with my eyes set on Christ, and while I'm running that race with my focus on the 'finish line', some guy will come up beside me, with the same focus – on Christ – and we will begin running the race together!" That's just what Jeremiah did for you in the marathon! Awesome – gives me shivers!

  23. Darby says:

    Abby! I knew you could do it!! I loved hearing every single detail… especially of Jeremiah's love and support for you!! What a treasure!!! I'm so proud of you and I know your mom is too!

  24. aedozier says:

    WOW! Wow that you did it. Wow that you did better than you imagined (you killed it!). Wow that your husband is the envy of all husbands (hehe). Wow that Doc ran back for his team. Just amazing!!! What a GREAT story. Can't wait to "hear" more about it. So proud for you!!!

  25. Elaine says:

    Wow, what an inspiration! I have only commented on your blog once before but I love it!
    I attempted to run a marathon after I had my first but over trained and hurt my right knee. I've started training for the Mercedes Marathon in Feb and I was gonna see if you had a schedule that you followed and a diet, because that's half the battle! This post gave me a rush of energy and makes me want to do it for sure! Thanks for sharing, maybe I'll be sharing mine soon 🙂


  26. Jenny says:

    congrats!!!!!! so happy for you! what a sweet hubby!

  27. melissa richie says:

    yay!!! great pictures, and i can't wait to see more.

    so, that was the sweetest thing that jeremiah did. wow. but….double wow that he straight up ran a half marathon without training? i'm really impressed by ypu both.

    congrats again, dear friend!!

  28. Our Family says:

    Congrats Abby! Great job to you and Ashley both. I am glad you had a wonderful time and Jeremiah got to come.

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