It all started about 3 years ago, well, it will be 3 years in January.

Then, it continued with one step forward.

Then, last year, it went 13.1 miles.

And Sunday, it continues for 26.2.

At 7:55 am on Sunday, a cannon blast (how cool is that?!) will start the Marine Corps Marathon and I, along with 30,000 of my new best friends, will start running.

26.2 miles later I'll cross the finish line, at the base of Iwo Jima

I'm nervous. I'm excited.

And I'm a little bit sad.

You see, this is the race I never wanted to run.

It wasn't until just a few days ago that a connection hit me, 3 years ago this month was when The Man and I got our first BFN. And 3 years ago in January I was so shocked to need a size of jeans that I swore I'd never need that I knew something had to change - eat less or move more. I like to eat.

And that's when Sara and I started our Couch to 5K program. I thought 60 seconds of running was going to kill me.

In 3 years a lot has happened, some good, some not so good, but include:

Sara had a second baby.
I had surgery.
Sara was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, and is now cancer free.
Sara ran her first marathon last week in Columbus!
My dad was diagnosed with cancer. Twice.
I got a new job.
I ran a half-marathon. Three of them actually. And too many 5Ks to count.
I've done every "I'll never do that" thing I've said related to running: wear a fuel belt, run in the rain, run in the snow, run farther than 6 miles, run farther than a half-marathon, carry a water bottle, pee my pants during a race (really!), and more. (For the record, I've quit saying "I'll never do that.")

But that one person is missing.

And on Sunday, I will run 26.2 miles because I can. I know it is a victory. Running has been so healing for me both mentally and physically. In the times I've cried and sobbed because my body is broken and doesn't work, The Man has gently reminded me of what my body has been capable of; of how it has held up and gotten stronger even when I fully expected it to not be able to do any of this.

So, on Sunday, I'm sure there will be a few tears along the miles. Just thinking about lining up at that start line gives me chills. The point of the Marine Corps Marathon is mutual respect. From the runners to those who have and continue to serve for their daily sacrifice; from the marines to the runners for their dedication and commitment to train and live a healthy life. There will be marines lining the route; one will place the medal around my neck at the finish line. Yes, there will be some tears.

When I registered for this race, and spent the $99, I really and truly believed that God was laughing at me. Saying, "you silly girl, you're wasting that money." I really felt like we were coming to the end of our IF journey. We had to be, we were so close to 18 months post-surgery. We just had to be. Yes, there will be some tears.

But it was not to be. God's answer continues to be "no." I am finding this truth to be very hard to accept. And I'm truly starting to wonder if it is "never." No matter how great this whole process has felt, I'd trade every minute I've spent training and racing for one, brief "I love you mommy."

I'm counting on that last part. That somehow, this person, who is feeling defeated and broken and wanting more than anything to have the only reason I'd accept to not run on Sunday. But I don't. So, run I will. That somehow, this person is changed for the better.

And, because I need to focus on something other than all of this for 26.2 miles, I'm offering it up for different intentions.

Miles 1 - 5: For Sara. Without her, I probably wouldn't have lasted a day past that first run. She's been through so much and has another surgery (elective, but still) coming up next month.

Miles 6 - 10: For all of my infertile buddies. If you have a special intention you'd like me to pray for, please leave it in the comments.

Miles 11 - 15: For everyone else who reads this blog, but doesn't fall under the "infertile" category. If you have a special intention you'd like me to pray for, please leave it in the comments.

Miles 16 - 20:  For the Man. He's been my constant support. Always picking me up when I want to quit and reminding me of the good things in our lives. I'll be specifically praying that the Lord continue to give The Man the strength and patience necessary to be married to me.

Miles 21 - 25: For my Dad. He will be one week and one day into his chemotherapy treatments on Sunday. He's taking it in pill form, and so far so good, so he will be there cheering me on.

Miles 26 - 26.2: This one is for me. That somehow the strength that gets me through this race will get me through the rest of this infertility journey, however long it lasts.

On Sunday, I will run 26.2. I've lived my life and, while sometimes the living hurts, I will look back and smile, even if there are tears too.


  1. Beautiful. This post and you, my friend.

    By the way, you began your marathon when you began your training. You're already a different person now than you were then and when you complete your marathon race on Sunday, you will have grown even more.

    Much love to you. I'm sure Gregory will put in a good word for you. :)

  2. Oh and by the way...I TOTALLY TOTALLY TOTALLY said to myself before I logged into Blogger..."I bet Rebecca has a marathon post up..." :)

  3. You are so amazing!! And awesome. and I'm.so.glad.I.know.you!!!! You are going to kick some arse. I will be thinking of you!!

    And thanks for the prayers...please pray we can conceive a healthy baby. That can be delivered, healthfully. ;)

  4. I am so proud of you already! Your dedication inspires me and gives me hope!

    If you could pray for a better job for Grant that would mean so much.

    I'll be praying for you!

  5. I will share my intentions privately but I am proud of you. I cannot wait to watch you run on Sunday!

  6. You are amazing. And I just want to point out the interesting fact that 26-26.2 will almost certainly be far, far longer than .2 miles. You won't know how much longer, or how much it will hurt until Sunday, but you know that you'll run it well, regardless of how long it lasts.

  7. Good luck. I have so much respect for marathoners Please pray that we are able to conceive a little one. JB and MB

  8. This post gives me chills. The mix of it all; the very good and the very hard in life and in running. It's beautiful. I would love if you could pray for a friend of mine. She has recently started seeking God (she still calls herself atheist) and she just lost her mom; and now all sorts of crappy family dynamics and financial stuff is ensuing. I'm just praying that however it all turns out, it leads her closer to Him. I wish I could be cheering you on along the race, but know that I'll be praying for you Sunday morning in Adoration after Mass!

  9. I've spent a lot of time telling myself "I can't do that because I might get pregnant," and I'm starting to realize that I've missed out on a lot of things I could have done. I really understand saying you would rather have a child than be able to run the marathon (I would too), but at least you haven't just been sitting around doing nothing while you wait, like I have. At least you're living your life, even through the pain, and that is so beautiful. I admire you for that.

    Please remember my husband and me in your prayers for infertile couples. And good luck on Sunday!

  10. I am moved by this post, God must be so proud of you! I know I am proud of you! It is so hard go step out of the sorrow of IF and live fully in the light of God's consolation.
    I would love to ask for you to include is in your prayers, primarily for Matthew and Joseph and for our special intention.

  11. I'd be muchly appreciative if you could pray for Daniel to develop speech. :)

    I also have experience with the parent with cancer... sort of. My father-in-law has been fighting multiple myeloma for 3 1/2 years, a chunk of it on oral chemo. He's like a second father to me so it's hard to see the deterioration the last couple of times we've headed down to LA.

  12. beautiful, just beautiful. You felt how I felt at the beginning of the summer with going to Europe. Of course, you said it so much better than I could! The bittersweet mix of accomplishment and what could have been is hard to sit with. But, you sit with it well, dear Rebecca. I hope the marathon will bolster you and you will have a sense a peace that you are exactly where God wants you to be. God Bless and HAVE FUN!!!!!

  13. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You are awesome. You are an inspiration! Please don't forget how strong you are and that strength is a gift from God. Ken and I will be praying for you on Sunday morning. If you could just think of us during your "IF Buddy miles"... you know what we're praying for our outcome to be.... the same outcome we all pray for. :-) God Bless You, Rebecca!!!! And go kick some marathon butt!!!!

  14. Such a beautiful reflection, Rebecca!! I'll be praying for YOU on Sunday!

  15. Have an amazing race, soooooooo proud of you, and inspired too. I felt the same way about my half-marathon: I wished I wasn't running it, but rather had been up the night before taking care of a new (fussy) baby. May this race be healing and lifegiving, will be praying for you and thinking of you. Wish we could be running buddies!

  16. I could feel the emotion in this post. I am so proud of you for running like this. I honestly don't believe I could do it. Wow. Good luck, and I will be thinking of you, and praying for you.

    Would you add my brother's fiancee to your prayers? She is a cancer survivor, and they have found another mass. She will be having a biopsy soon.

    You are a beautiful soul.

  17. Such a HUGE accomplishment! So happy for you. I know you haven't crossed the finish line yet, but just your commitment to this marathon is inspirational! I'll be praying for you on Sunday. You've got this!

  18. Good luck in your race!!! Sounds awesome. I have bad knees...walking is all I could ever do. I'll be joining every one else in prayer for you on Sunday.

  19. I was just going to text you to let you know we are going to be in town this weekend, but I guess you are going to be busy with marathon-y things. Best wishes, sweet friend! You are going to rock it.

  20. I am so excited for you and you are such an inspiration to all of us!!!! I will be praying for you this weekend!!!! Run, Rebecca, Run!!!

  21. When I was in the depths of my darkest despair of TTC, I HATED my body. It would ever f--king work, it left me in agony every single month. I had all this hatred and rage directed at myself. It was such an awful feeling. A key part of my healing has been learning to love my body again and to appreciate its strength and capability, even though I am still unable to conceive (as far as I know, we haven't been trying.)

    It sounds like running and taking pleasure in the increasing strength of your body has brought you to a place of acceptance of your body. It's so amazing that you are doing this! Thank you for praying for all of your IF bloggy friends!

  22. Oh Rebecca. I am praying for you! I am so excited for your marathon :-) I love the idea of prayer intentions by mile; you know mine of course.

  23. This was so beautiful....and so heart breaking. You are one of the most beautiful souls I know, Rebecca. That is just the truth.

    I'll be thinking of you on Sunday!

    If you, somewhere between miles 11-15, could say a prayer for me I would appreciate it oh so much! (I am starting to feel the inklings of old feelings/struggles coming back. It is always hard around holiday season...)



  24. Rebecca, you are SO inspiring! I will be praying for you Sunday! Please post on FB what time the race starts so I can keep you in my prayers during the day.
    I love your prayer intentions each mile/group of miles!

  25. First of all, I am so proud of you for finding and using running as a means of healing and finding peace with your body. It can make a world of difference to be able to say to yourself "my body may not be able to do x, but it can do y." Years ago, what I found to be proud about was the strength of my legs; I might not have been skinny or had a relationship, but I could leg press xxx pounds.

    Second, my heart breaks for you as you continue to hear "no." I keep hoping and praying that no is not, will not be never.

    Yesterday I was completing my own "marathon" of cleaning, cooking, dishes, and all that goes into hosting a gathering for 14, I was offering it up for you. At the end of the day, I couldn't help but be embarrassed by how exhausted I was after that... I can't even imagine running 26.2 miles.

  26. The chorus of the closing hymn at Mass on Sunday morning went something like "I will run and not grow weary, for God will be my strength." I thought that was so fitting for you, both literally and figuratively.

  27. I still can't believe you did it!!! I would have died on the course at mile 2! You are a such an inspiration.