my first 5k

My first 5K.

I had one goal: to run the whole 5k without stopping or walking.

I know a 5K is such a short distance for so many people, but for me it might as well had been a marathon.

I’ve been slowly training from no running to be able to run 3.1 miles.

Saturday I woke up…semi ready to run.


I met up with some friends at the race site. It was a small race, a couple hundred runners. When I signed up for this race with friends I thought it would be a great way to celebrate ‘running the race’ of waiting for our approval letter. When I signed up, I fully expected that on race day I would be celebrating that we had our approval letter and were just a few more steps away from getting our girl.

Total bummer going to the race without an approval letter to celebrate. I’m still running that race.

Our little group kind of had an agreement to see each other at the finish line. We started the race together, but each knew we had to run our own race. There are so many parallels with running and the adoption wait for me. Even this crazy letter we are waiting for…so many start the wait at the same time, but we finish that race at totally different times.

The race began. Slow and steady wins the race. Run your own race. Don’t stare at the amazingly buff legs of all the runners in front of you. Just keep running.

The race began with everyone tight together and then it got spread out. At one point I rounded a few turns all alone…with the warm sun shining down.

Friends told me that race day would be fun because of the excitement of the crowd and the atmosphere. I think I still like running alone the best. At least I thought I did. I came around a turn and saw the finish line in front of me. I switched my playlist to my ‘finish line’ song (Third Day, You Are So Good to Me):


You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song

And I will sing again

You are so good to me

You heal my broken heart

You are my Father in Heaven

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song

You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song


It is my finish line song because I am running while I am waiting for my beautiful sweet, sweet Song.

Well as I got a few feet from the finish line, I picked up my pace so relieved to finally finish. Then the course changed. There was another whole leg before the finish line. So disappointing. I just kept running. When the finish line finally came into view again, a dear friend was running next to me.


We crossed that line together. I ran my first 5K. I finished with a friend by my side. Not surprisingly that friend is also one that is holding me up as I wait for our letter. I still have not caught the running bug. Still no runner’s high. Yet, I will still keep running. For as long as I am waiting to get my girl home, I’ll keep signing up for races. I’ll keep running for my beautiful, sweet sweet Song.

And then I may or may not hang up my running shoes.

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  • RachelC - Way to finish one race ……here’s to finishing the other one today!

  • Helen - I’m so pleased that you managed to do this. I have done a couple of 5k in the past for Cancer Research, but have never run all the way.
    I really don’t like running, but last week I went out for the first time – not for such a poigniant reason( I just need to lose 3 stone & not spend too much money doing it!!)
    I didn’t even run all the way on the ‘course’ my husband gave me.
    But I shall be out again tonight, hoping that I may also reach the point where I enjoy the run, sometime. I am enjoying 20 minutes on my own, with my music though.

  • Kezia - Well done! I’m training to do 5k, and finding it rather difficult, so I hugely admire your perseverance!

  • Tara A - Ashley, That’s awesome. Wish I was there with you. Now when I hear that song you played before you crossed the finish line I will think of your little one. Keep running!!!! Have a blessed day. Tara

  • Joy - “Wherefore we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us run with endurance the race set before us, laying aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us by fixing our eyes on JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith. FOR THE JOY set before him, he endured the cross and despised its shame and now is seated at the right hand of God…” you are living this, sweet ashley! run hard!

  • Anna Joy - Go Ashley! I ran my first 5K since I got preggo 4 years ago earlier this year. It was great and I did catch the running bug again. I hope you do too. It’s a nice distraction as we wait patiently on the Lord. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • N - Be proud! And keep running towards that little one:)

  • Fliss - True photographer… you have your camera everywhere ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on the run…

  • giozi - I though first you said My firs 5 kilos ๐Ÿ˜€ I only thing in weight ha ha ha. Well well well. Congratulations. I can’t neither one block, ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • kate c - Congrats on your 5K! (which is only 3.1 miles – so not nearly as far, right???)

    It takes a really long time to get the runner’s high and get addicted to it, though I promise it’s worth it!

    I ran for ~3 years before something changed and I finally really loved running just for the sake of running. Now I get grumpy and out of sorts if I can’t run – and I love how it makes me feel fit and healthy!

    Don’t give up doing things for you and being healthy – it’s the best thing you can do for your kids (well, besides loving them and feeding and clothing them, I suppose!!) – having a mom who takes care of herself and is really fit is being a great role model – along with preventing future health problems so you can live longer for your kids!

    Anyway, just a note to let you know that it can take many years of running before you get the runner’s high and feel like a runner, so don’t think just because it hasn’t happened to you yet that it will never happen!!

    Congrats again on your great run!!!

  • AshleyAnn - Kate – thanks! I agree completely on taking care of myself…I just prefer lots of other ways over running. Maybe one day I’ll enjoy running as much as I enjoy other ways of staying strong & healthy…we’ll see if that runner’s high comes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sara Torbett - Great job Ashley!! I am also not a fan of running so I can relate with your feelings. I think of your family often waiting on your sweet daughter. Praying that you get to bring her home sooooon!

  • Trรจs bien - That is so wonderful. I love the parallels you have shared! Keep persevering! Keep your eyes on Jesus. Your sweet song will be with you soon!

  • Tammy C. - So chocked up reading this, the finish line song just did me in! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us.

  • Tammy C. - Oops, I mean choked. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bethany - Get it, girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • tracy a - Hey, if I make it down there in November, let’s take a run together? Well, unless you’ve gotten to hang up your running shoes by then. That would be even better!

  • Eva - I’m so sorry that the race to your approval letter didn’t get the memo that it should keep up with the lead pack. It’s disappointing, for sure. So glad that your friend found you at the finish line, and you crossed it together. Remember that the Lord has been with you throughout your race/journey to your girl. And He will cross the finish line with you, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • meg duerksen - great song for finishing.
    i LOVE that song.
    good for you for doing it! way to go!

  • Nicole C - I too have had a goal to run a 5k without stopping and have failed many times. I’m pretty much pushing that one to the backburner but I am beyond glad to hear you completed! I did a duathlon yesterday (like a tri but only running and biking) and it was so much fun my Mom even signed up after seeing me to it last year. So, if you decide to keep your running shoes on, maybe your sweet Song will run along with you..

  • ellie - I absolutely love Third Day and love that you run to them.

  • Kelsey I - I love reading your blog & hardly ever post. But today while I was reading the song, While I’m Waiting by John Waller came on my Pandora station & thought it was so appropriate for this season of your life. I hope that song blesses you.

  • Katie - Oh so beautiful…as I mentioned before, I too am running while we wait to adopt….and praying, and rocking (in chair in nursery) and trying to keep praising, and growing and stretching. Waiting on a call today to hear if “yes” or “no”. Congrats on your race…keep it up. Can’t wait to hear when you get your approval letter; but knowing this too is part of the beautifully hard journey towards your girl. “Waiting on someday, living in the moment, hoping in Your promise to uphold me. Until someday I’ll keep going, not just survive, but seek Your glory.”

  • Shannon - That is a great song, but just wondering if you have heard the waterdeep version. it’s too good

  • Kelli - Hi Ashley Ann~I love reading your blog and following you on your adoption journey. It brings back so many memories of the journey to our daughter. She was born in Guatemala 6 years ago next month and has been home with us for a little over 5 years now, it seems like a lifetime ago now and it feels like time stood still during the wait. We were able to visit our daughter when she was 3 months old then had to wait an excruciatingly long 6 months to bring her home. I love that you are running while waiting. I am not a runner but when we visited our daughter at 3 months I picked up a pin/brooch of a little guatemalan girl and wore it EVERY day until we brought her home. I found it in a drawer recently and it brought back so many memories. Even if you never love running, may your shoes be a fond memory soon ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to “meet” your little one! Hang in there.

  • Sophie~Bug's Mom - Ashley… what a poignant post. Adoption is a marathon. Not a sprint like we hope. I know that feeling too well as my youngest daughter was born in my heart thousands of miles away in Guatemala. The wait for her was more excruciating than childbirth, that I was fortunate to experience twice before her. She just turned 7 and is the light of my life… just as her siblings are… but with a little extra something special when I look at her sleeping at night and think about how the stars lined up so perfectly for me to be matched with the most amazing little girl.

    I just ran my first 5K last weekend… I got to run it with a friend and really enjoyed it. I don’t have that runners high yet either… but want to stick with it and give it another couple of tries!

    Praying your approval comes very very soon!!!

  • Suzanne - Way to go, Ashley!! Your beautiful Song will be here before you know it. Maybe you will find your runner’s high before then… or maybe not ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s all good!

  • Flor - congrats on finishing your first 5k! you go girl ๐Ÿ™‚
    i’m not a runner either but i make myself do it
    in order to stregthen my mind as well as my body.
    and with songs praising the Lord in my ears, it’s my quiet
    time as well.
    slow and steady, you’ll get to the finish line soon and
    the reward will be so sweet…your precious daughter ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amanda torres - Congrats on your first race. Seeing that finish line and knowing you are going to cross is a great feeling!

  • Lindsey P - Your sweet sweet Song. Oh you know just how to make a girl cry. I hope it’s comforting to you that God picks the timing for everything. Ultimately, you will get your girl when He decides it’s time.

    Can you imagine how many women around the country will be in the ugly cry with happy tears with you when you finally meet your little one?

  • Cindy Sullivan - BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!

  • Amy K. - I’m no runner, but I know if that was my finish line song, I would finish every race sobbing!! =) Keep your head up in the loooong race!

  • Kelli - Congratulations! I ended up walking my first 5K, a little disappointing, but I learned I’d much rather run alone than in a crowd of several thousand. It was crazy.

  • Jess - Way to go, Ashley! Praying for you as you wait for your sweet girl.

  • Lisa Box - I LOVE that song! And now, every time I hear it, I’ll think of your sweet Song, and pray that you get to hold her in your arms soon!

  • Naomi - I love that you are running for a reason, your Song! Whether it is 3.1 miles or a marathon, it always feels beter when you have a goal! I overcame cancer last year and for my 1 year of being healthy, I set the goal to run a half marathon. I’ve since ran 5 half marathons in the past 6 months! When you reach that goal, and have Song in your arms, run the race set out for you. And it is ok to cry as you cross the finish line.

  • Bon @ A Golden Afternoon - Finish line song…such a good idea! I think I’ll try out a finish line song for the end of my day. That would be awesome and a signal to my kiddos that Mom is winding down. Could it work? ๐Ÿ™‚ Way to go on the 5K!

  • Jessica - yay! Congratulations!!
    LOVE this song! Third Day/Mac Powell are my favorites!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Congratulations! Way to finish!

  • Andrea - LOVE this! you know, I didn’t start LOVING running until I started going LONGER distances. The first 3 miles of any run are sucky to me, even in a 5K ๐Ÿ™‚ good for you for being a strong mama – you’re setting a great example for your kiddos. they have no idea how fast you run – besides, you’re lapping everyone that’s sitting on the couch! also, little advertising plug here: I’m a brand ambassador for Oiselle womens running apparel. if you like any of their stuff, totally DM me and I’ll send you a coupon code ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elizabeth - LOVE that song!! congrats to you…may HE give you patience as you continue to wait on Him till your daughter’s home. ((HUG))