Janell's Excellent Adventure

 This week, one of my closest friends had her baby. Talk about exciting! While Lydia Claire and I were there meeting their new, sweet baby boy, I couldn't help but take a trip down memory lane. Just like my friends, a short two years ago Adam and I had no idea what we were getting into. Neither of us knew how to change a diaper, and two years later we've gone pro. I had no clue to how to hold a baby, now I adore slinging my wild toddler over my shoulder and wagging her around upside down- the belly laugh that ensues is my favorite.

Being a parent is one of the strangest, most complicated things I've ever done.
But it's one of the best.
It's filled with complex feelings and emotions---

Some days I simply CANNOT wait for Lydia Claire to finally go down for a nap.
----but then I can't wait for her to get up so we can go get into something new.

Sometimes I NEED Adam to just take her for a little while so I can gather my wits.
----but before I know it, I've scooped her out of his arms.


This time last weekend, I had just gotten back from my first big trip since becoming a parent.
Pre-LC, I traveled lots to run.
Post-LC, not so much.

One day last May, I got the hair brained idea to do a Google search for "Cool Race Medals."
And then my coworker waltzed in to see what I was doing.
We happened upon the COOLEST race medal.
So we registered for the half marathon.
Because we NEEDED it, right?
Pennsylvania in a weekend? Totally doable.

It ended up being another one of those weird complex parent things.
I couldn't wait for a break from real life.
----but I was solo eager to get back to my gal.

In my mind, I just couldn't wait to get back to my runner roots - going somewhere new, running a race with all the crazy runner folks. Aside from that, I needed a break from being Mommy. But when it actually came down to it, I was scared. I didn't want to leave my gal.

May until September is a long time. I had neglected thinking about it; I didn't want to think about leaving my sweet girl.
But then race weekend arrived.
I almost backed out approximately 7 times.
But I did it.
I got in the car and rode for 12 hours.
And then I ran.
And then we came home.
It was a fabulous trip, and I didn't even cry when I FaceTimed my girl! She was having such a good time with her daddy that I couldn't be sad. She had a busy weekend filled with fun, food, and laughter. It was a lot like mine. :)

So, here's the race re-cap of the Bird-In-Hand half marathon in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania.
Had to make a quick stop for lunch, but what really caught our eye were all the northern car tags!
It meant we were getting close!

Once we arrived in PA, we went straight to the expo. We had to park in a field.
I was so excited to see all the Amish folks with their swanky rides!

The expo was held outside in a big field. Pretty neat!
Taking our picture in front of the back drop must mean that it's about to get real!

Typical pose for me!
Part of the pre-race festivities was a hot air balloon thing. You could pay mega dollars to go for a ride, or you could just sit and watch. Since I do not have mega dollars or want to be waaaay up in the sky floating around, I chose to stay firmly planted in the field with all my Amish friends. 

Trying to catch it as it floated away.

That night, they made us all smores. Jan and I had good intentions of staying, but then we got tired and decided to leave. Pretty cool, though, to go to a race where they make smores for you!

While I was having a grand ole time out in a field, LC and Adam were having a grand ole time eating Chinese take out and cuddling on the couch. I love this picture more than words.

On the way to our motel in Intercourse, PA, we passed numerous other folks also headed home. 
These town names are too funny.

The next morning ----

We parked our car and got ready to line up.

We headed out, but I couldn't focus. The scenery was just too beautiful.

I started out with the intention of just finishing. I hadn't trained properly, so I just wanted to finish. But when I saw the 2:10 pacer was an Amish runner, I had to stick with him! When else would I have 2 hours to hang with someone that's from Amish country in PA? It was great. While it started out as just someone neat to run with, Aaron, my pacer, ended up being a great running partner. 
This was one on the bigger hills we had to climb. While the 13.1 mile course wasn't super hilly, it definitely had some inclines to it. 
Along the whole course, Amish families came out of their houses to watch, cheer, and hand out water. They don't mind their photos being taken as long as they aren't asked to pose. However, I was never brave enough to take their photo. I stole this one from the race Facebook page. Another runner posted this shot. 


After Jan crossed the finish line, we had to pose with our medals!

These ladies had driven down from Canada and were staying in the same motel as we did. We ran into them a lot! Super fun to talk to.

After the race was over, we were fed at an Amish picnic. They had tons of great food for us! 

It wasn't long after eating that we struck out, car pointed south. While we had a blast, we were oh so glad to be home. 

And I had one little girl stuck to me like glue the next day!!

Proof I finished with a smile!
 Aaron, my Amish pacer, let me finish first. :)
Half Marathon #11 --- 2:09:38


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