Friday I turned 41 and I had the most perfect weekend with my family I could have possibly imagined. That evening Emma ran her very first kid’s 1 mile fun run. We are incredibly blessed that several of our chosen family came out to cheer her on, and celebrate with me.
At 2 years and 9 months, Emma blew my mind. The packed crowd and noise of the start line coral made Emma a little uneasy and she wanted to be carried at first. In that first little bit I started to second guess whether we should have waited another year to try this, even though Emma herself had expressed the desire to do it. But as soon as the crowd cleared a little she was ready to run…and run she did. The WHOLE mile. She never stopped, never slowed down, never walked. When we got to halfway she picked up her pace, kicking those little heels to her bottom. She would say “my family will be so proud” and run a little faster. Close to the finish line our family was holding signs and cheering for her, and I know it was incredibly special to her. She said “excuse me” every time she passed someone, and at one point when she bumped into someone, she made sure to stop and help them. Her effort and attitude made me incredibly proud. More than anything, I’m thrilled she had fun.
Then we did what any birthday girl and race finisher should do…
The next morning was the Governor’s Cup 5K for me. Kinda weird to be running the 5K instead of the half marathon, but it was a crazy season for us between the wedding, David’s 100 mile race, and some work travel for him. Long story short, my training was put on the back burner and I was not in half marathon shape.
I really enjoyed the 5K and was pleased with my time, despite having to stop and use a porta potty at about mile 1.7 for the first time ever during a race.
I have my sights set on a local half marathon in October and I’m ready to put my heart into some summer training, following the example of my daughter who put joy, determination, and her whole heart into every step of her run.
We topped off our weekend of running by taking part in the SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) 24/7 Safety run in Lexington.
I didn’t know John Flanagan or Diane Wells personally. But they were members of the same faith based fitness community we are. They were runners. They were parents of young children. They were about our age. And they were both taken from this world far too soon through absolutely no fault of their own. In 2018 approximately 6,277 pedestrians were fatally struck in SC. These are just two recent losses that were a part of our community. The goal this week was to log 6,277 miles collectively to bring awareness to this issue. As a family of runners, this is near and dear to our hearts. It’s far too easy to place ourselves in their shoes. It was a very hot day, and we ran at noon. The first loop I pushed the stroller, and David and I switched the second loop. I definitely felt the heat, and actually began walking at mile 3. But with every step I was heartbreakingly aware of how blessed I was (and am) to still have the opportunity to run with my family, soak up the sun, breathe with my lungs. I ran for Diane Wells and John Flanagan. David and I were both moved to tears looking at pictures of Diane’s family leading the final loop to close out the week long event. I look forward to hearing about what change this event evokes.
It was a wonderful weekend and I am left feeling sun kissed, grateful, and deeply satisfied.