April of 2016 my friend Connie and I did the Naperville (Illinois) Women's Half Marathon. We loved it! So, as soon as registration opened for this year's race (which was last spring), we "raced" to sign up. :) Pun intended.
Then, last summer we told our walking/running friends about the half and encouraged them to do it. "You have plenty of time to train for it" we said. Well, eventually there were 7 of us...pretty much our entire group...that registered for the race. Then, all of a sudden, winter was winding down and race time was almost here! Lots of training going on and a "just a bit" of nervousness. Yikes!
It was a very different feel and completely different dynamics doing this race with a group of friends. Different, but wonderful! What a bonding experience.
The energy, the anticipation, the nerves, the encouragement, the praise.
Every time I remember this experience, I'm reminded how blessed I am to be surrounded by this group of women.
|Pre-race, at the start line.|
I think there were about 2500 women doing the half and nearly 2000 in the 5k.
In total, almost twice as many as last year.
|Our team of 7 post-race, adrenaline still pumping!|
|Me with my finishers medal. That thing is heavy!|
|Our friend Carol have to leave right away, so we missed her in these photos. :(|
|This is my favorite photo. So fun!|
We sat there and talked for a long time. Lots of laughter, too. We may have gotten a bit loud occasionally. We got "the look" from a couple a few tables away. Sorry, but not really. It was a very special occasion and we were still pumped.
I still smile every time these memories pop into my brain. Like...right now.
I'm still amazed that I'm doing these races at this point in my life. No, I am NOT bragging. A lot of people do half marathons.
I'm amazed because just a 3-1/2 years ago I was 77 pounds heavier than I am now and had several health issues. There was no way that I could have walked even a 5k at that time. I have much to be thankful for and two of those things are the ability and the good health to be able to do the physical activities that I have come to love so much. And...if I hadn't made the changes in my life that led me to where I am today, I may not have been surrounded be these wonderful women...in last Sunday's photos. God leads us in ways and directions that absolutely amaze me. For that, I am so grateful.