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Saturday, October 8, 2011

a GREAT day

It all started with the Anthem Great Pumpkin 5k in Reston.  A perfect crisp fall morning - blue skies and sunshine.  This was an amazing race on all accounts - and I am saying this not from the perspective of one who ran it (because I didn't) but from someone who witnessed firsthand all of the behind the scenes teamwork and coordination that goes into making a race like this a success.  I witnessed the smiles, excitement and pride of so many runners (of ALL ages!) who loved every minute of their race.  It brought me such great joy to be a part of it and I am so thankful for the experience.

Today was not about me, or my running.  Yet I felt just as much happiness and joy at this race as I do when I run a PR.  Today was about celebrating the sport of running and the community that makes it possible.  It was about encouraging and supporting my children and my good friends who ran their own races.  It was about being there for a good friend who was in no small way responsible for making this race the success that it was.  I could not have asked for a better morning.

Some of the highlights of my morning....

I got to spend time with my dear friend, Dorothy.  When we are together there is a giddiness and an understanding that can only be felt in the presence of a true friend.

happy!!
I got to spend time with my sister, who I love with all my heart.  There is never enough that can be said about my sister and how wonderful I think she is. How grateful I am to have her in my life.

me and my amazing sister
My dear friend and neighbor, Karen, ran her fastest 5k today and I was there with her before the race to give her pre-race hugs and after her race to hear all about it and tell her how proud (SOOO proud!) I was of her.
do you see the joy!?  wonderful friend!!
My good friend and running buddy Paul was at the race too!  He has been out of town for the past 4+ months and it as been waaaay too long since we've caught up or gotten to run together.  He ran a strong race today.  It meant so much to me that we got to hang out a bit and I cannot wait to run the trails with him and Jodi again soon.
me, Jodi and Paul: reunited!

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the race though was sharing the experience with my children.  Abby was determined to run on her own and to do her very best.  She did not want me or her dad to run with her.  As I cheered for her I felt my heart swell with pride and gratitude.  She was having fun.  She was doing her very best.  She was believing in herself.

determined Abby
Will wanted us to be "partners" for his race, but did not want me to hold his hand.  He just wanted me to be near by.  He was practically bouncing rather than running, he was so excited.  I was laughing the whole way because we were just having so much fun.

showing off his muscles
The family fun did not stop with the running.  My kids would have stayed there all day - we decorated pumpkins, got balloon animals and even rode on carnival rides before heading home. 

decorating pumpkins with friends
It was more fun than I think any of us realized we were in for when we started the day today.  I am certain that this event will become an annual tradition for my family.  As we were getting ready for bed tonight everyone (my husband and me included) was commenting about how we had such an awesome day and how ready for bed we felt.  It seems I have yet another reason to be thankful for the sport of running and the ways it enriches my life.

Now it's time to turn in because tomorrow I will be up at 4:30am to get myself ready for another race - the Army Ten Miler!  This time I will be toeing the line, and I am excited for another GREAT day!



5 comments:

oh how fun Jessica! Such rich memories here! And thinking of you on your 10 miler tomorrow! Go get 'em! You look amazing!

Love that this race was more than "just" a race!! I love those :)

Good luck today, can't wait to hear how it went!

What a great weekend! I hope Army was a good one for you!

I love you like seriously love you. You are a true friend :):) ps I count us as meeting because of running. I would have never been so bold and chatted if you did not have a bob. I knew you had to be a runner!!!

Sounds like it was a perfect day for all of you! I love the action shot of Abby running. They both look ready to race!

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