Running for Chocolate

On Sunday I completed the Chicago Hot Chocolate 5K.
There was a beautiful sunrise above Lake Michigan.
And good friends.

And there was chocolate.
But most of all it was so special to reach a goal I had set, way back last October when I was in the midst of grief and sickness and still frustrated by my post-baby body — to run this race. I finally dared myself to actually sign up in September of this year, still not totally sure I’d be able to do it. But I was ready to step out and was so thankful for friends who were willing to do it with me!

I chose this race in particular because the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House Charity.  As many who have followed our story know, we spent the eight weeks of Naomi’s life living at the Advocate Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn. I still remember the first moment I walked into the House after being discharged from the Maternity floor barely 24 hours after giving birth to Naomi. Going from the business and urgency of the hospital to the calm oasis of the House felt like a refreshing waterfall of hope and strength just poured over me. We were closer to Naomi’s room at the House than I had been on the Maternity floor and knowing that we had a place to sleep, eat, shower, and be a family with our boys while still being able to be with Naomi at a moments notice was such a gift. Looking back on that time, the Ronald McDonald House, and the beautiful staff and volunteers who run it, made it possible for us to be a family during Naomi’s brief life. This is a priceless gift to me and I will be forever grateful for that place and the people in it.

To those of my family and friends who donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charity in memory of Naomi…thank you for your generosity! Your gift will help others who are needing the services of the RMH while their children are in the hospital.

The race was also a lot of fun! It was the biggest race I’ve ever run (and only my second one at that). I was also super happy with my time of 30 min 30 sec. When I signed up for the race in September I was running around an 11 minute mile so I was very happy with the improvement I was able to make. My training was pretty much solely interval training Fit Yummy Mummy style. (More on that soon!) Now I’m deciding what race to do next as I had so much fun with this one. If only it wasn’t getting so cold here in the Midwest! Time to invest in some winter running gear, I think.

As I crossed the finish line on Sunday, I was just overwhelmed with such joy and love for my sweet daughter that I miss so much. I just can’t wait for that day when we will run together on the streets of heaven. Until that day I keep holding on to the hope Jesus has given.