Saturday, April 29, 2017

INCREDIBLE!

Yeah, I know that all caps is like shouting out loud.  But, that's what I wanted to do after completing my second Half-Marathon.  Last Sunday...April 23rd.
Wooooooooo hooooooo!

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.
Want to see a few (or lots of) pics from half marathon day?  I thought so.  Okay!

Pre-race, at the start line.
 The temperature was around 38 degrees F pre-race.  My fingers were SO cold.  But the sun was shining and the temps rose pretty fast.  Ideal weather for a half.
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!
From left to right: Me, Shawn, Carol, Michelle (in front), Cayce, Connie & Laurie.
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!

Five of us headed out for lunch after the race.  It was a day for "eat anything you want" for lunch.  Splurge!  I had a burger with fries and it was DE-licous.
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.
Guess what?  Our next race is two weeks from today.  "Only" a 10k this time.
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.
May God's Peace be with you all.

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