Saturday was The Race: The Freihofer's Run for Women, which "my runners" had been working toward for the past three months. It was awesome. Even more, I saw again the hard-core awesomeness of runners.
But first, the expo.
On Friday, I met up with four of the new runners and fellow running blogger, Suzy, to get our shirts, bibs and box o' chocolate chip cookies! Makes it all worth it . . .
I have to admit it was a little exciting watching everyone get their first bibs! Bibs in hand, we picked up our cookies and then headed off to shop. Suzy and Jen F. picked up some cute Bondi Bands and I kept my wallet in my bag, although there were plenty of cute things I could have purchased.
And then it was race day.
Hot and humid, but no rain. The forecast had been iffy so the no rain thing was big. The group met ahead of time for a pre-race photo and what was supposed to be my last pep talk. I didn't have it in me. Folks, I don't know if I've said this before but I'm a crier. Oh, yeah. Total crier. Sobby McCrierson. Add in some pregnancy hormones and, sheesh, I turn into a weeper.
So, I skipped my talk. I knew I wouldn't be able to get the words out without getting choked up so, instead, I simply gathered the runners, wished them good luck and gave them each one of these:
I'd had these bracelets made about a month ago and couldn't wait to hand them out! They say, "Strong Running Mama" on them because each of the runners are just that: Strong running mamas! Hard working, tough, getting-it-done women.
So, off we went to race and everyone did great but you'll have to wait until tomorrow when I post my race report to learn more about it. Sorry!
For now, I want to talk about this:
After the race, we lined up to take a group shot and the runners presented me with a gift bag. As soon as I pulled the book out, I teared up (Sobby McCrierson, remember?). If I was teary just looking at the cover, when I opened the book I was full-on crying:
The girls had made a beautiful book celebrating the running group and our journey together. It's full of pictures from our group runs and some of me running various races over the past years. They also put in a bunch of my favorite quotations and even some things that I've written on this blog.
I had to wait until I was home to look at it for real because I was simply too emotional right after the race to view it without sobbing.
It's just a wonderful, special gift. I love it. Love the photos, love the quotes but most of all I love the sentiment behind it:
Awesome. Runners are awesome. And I couldn't be happier to have had a small part in turning a few great women into awesome runners.
Jeez, I'm getting teary just writing about it! I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to start this running group a little over three months ago. I thought it would be fun, for sure, but I didn't realize how much I would get out of the group. I didn't realize that simply by trying to share my love for running with a group of non-runners, my appreciation for that most basic human activity of moving forward would grow. And I really had no way of knowing how much the new runners would come to love running. I'm happy they do. I'm proud of what they've accomplished. I'm glad I was part of it!
Now, before I cry again, I'll sign off. But I'll be back tomorrow with my race report so you can find out how well all these awesome runners did in their first race!
Thanks for reading!