My friend and fellow runner, Traci, had suggested I come up to visit her and her family outside of Boston to do two races in one weekend - a 5K in Providence, RI, and a 1/2 marathon in Quincy, MA. With the promise of knocking two states off at once and spending a weekend with good friends, it didn't take much convincing.
After being picked up from the airport, I went with Traci to pick up some professional pictures she had taken of the kids, and then we headed back to her place, where I was greeted by this:
How nice to have people anticipating your visit!
The next morning, we slept in a bit since the 5K was not until 11:15am. (Correction: I slept in. Superwoman was up making homemade pasta by 6am):
The 5K (http://stpats5k.com/) itself was great-- nothing fancy or anything in particular about the course that stood out, but it drew in 4000 people (!!) and many of those dressed up for St. Patrick's day.
We both ended up with great runs. I almost hit my PR at 23:30 (based on chip time...with so many people it took a whole minute to get to the start line), Traci did get a PR, and we both loved the fact that 5Ks don't wipe you out the way marathons do.
(Here is a pic of us post-race with a couple chilly kids. Check out Magnum PI standing behind us!)
After the race, we had plenty of time to sit around drinking tea and eating homemade muffins and spent the rest of the day making crafts, organizing a bedroom, cooking and enjoying dinner, watching a local marching band performance (don't knock it 'til you've tried it!), talking, and laughing.
The next morning was a bit earlier as we had to get to Quincy by 8 for the half (http://halfofquincy.com/). It was a beautiful race, along the water for a good part of the run, and though it was cold, the sun was out the whole time. We didn't set any records (instead focusing on staying together), but had a great time.
(Here is us post-race at the Y, prepping ourselves for a delicious lunch at the Fat Cat: http://fatcatrestaurant.com/)
At one point during the weekend, Traci's son responded to the question of whether he liked the new picture his mom brought home by saying, "well, you just don't get used to it." This comment cracked us up all weekend but now I am going to use it for some inspiration. There are definitely some things in my life I just didn't think I would get used to:
1. I never thought I'd get used to waking up before 8 on the weekends to run over 10 miles.
2. I never thought I'd get used to standing outside in the freezing cold bouncing up and down waiting to start a run - that I chose, as my idea of weekend fun.
3. I never thought I'd get used to pain in my legs, red face, runny nose, and all the other bodily joys that come with pushing myself as an athlete.
But I have become used to those things. I have found joy in what may seem like difficult situations and hope that I can translate this to other parts of my life. Growth is often found in the difficult places and the conversations that are had in the hardest times are sometimes the best. We can get used to new things, and often find we love those things more than we ever thought possible.
I hope that what I don't get used to are the moments that remind me just how lucky I am to be alive, active, and blessed with amazing friends. I never want to take that for granted and always want to remain thankful.
So thank you to all of YOU who are part of my life and a constant encouragement to me and my dreams.
Help make others' dreams come true by donating to kiva here: http://www.kiva.org/team/50_in_50_by_50
Next state: West Virginia!