Monday, December 19, 2011

Memories to cherish

I’ve come a long way in a year!
Today marks a one year anniversary completion of my first half marathon.
Woo hoo! I actually kept to one of my resolutions, dreams and goals! I couldn’t be more proud and, to make my first half more special, I did it with a special friend.
Actually, let’s say I convinced her to do the race with me (although it didn’t take much convincing).
She, like me, is extremely goal and purpose driven (hard headed, some would say) and the shear thought of running more than 3 miles not only scared the shit out of both of us but excited us!
To make the whole experience even better, I have pictures to prove (evidence) that we did this!
I am on the right, as disguised as I possibly can be. To explain the shirts: race day was also my hubbies 40th birthday. We surprised him by wearing shirts that read, which was my own creativity: "In memory of...(and on the back)..Chuck's younger days! Today he's 40" Too bad his vision is so poor, and worse without his glasses, that he couldn't read it until we crossed the finish line. Classic!

Look close and you can see us crossing the finish line. Woo hoo!

However great this race has sounded thus far let’s not exaggerate a few facts of race day:
·         It was perhaps one of THE coldest days I can remember. It wasn’t necessarily the temperature that was cold (race start of 40, usually ideal race weather) but there was NO sunshine at any point during the day (a rare thing for Florida in December) and it misted rain the ENTIRE time! Totally miserable! There were even people wearing/ running in trash bags to avoid the constant mist. Of course, we weren't dressed appropriately. That didn't help. (this race was one of the reasons why I made the splurge on the all weather coat that I mentioned in my 'favorite things' blog post-well worth the $)
·         The route was uber-boring! Flat…yes (thank the lord and a reason why we chose this race)! But, it was the most boring route that I’ve ever run (not as bad as running on the ‘mill..but close). I’ve even had people tell me since the race that they thought the route was boring as well.
·         I/ we were in an extreme amount of leg pain after our 2:30 race time! We had prepared for the distance and endurance but we ran slightly faster (yes, that's possible for us turtles) on race day than normal (this would explain the advil I took on the afternoon and following day). I am sure it was the excitement and adrenaline of the whole event that made us run faster than normal. A hard lesson learned.
But, it doesn’t matter about the pain, freezing ass temperatures, or the mist that had my hair in ringlets by the finish line (naturally curly hair and it LOVES humidity)…
To hear that announcer say both of our names as we crossed the finish line and get our ‘much deserved’ medals was all worth it!
This picture says it all!

Two proud weiners winners! Aren't we are all winners if we cross the finish line (or get off the couch)?
I couldn’t imagine spending a more memorable event like this with any other person in the world than one of my best friends! It is a moment I will always cherish!
Going back through my pictures, I also found a couple of very sweet pictures of my friend and her parents. 
The picture's have a new and different meaning this year, as her dad passed away last week after a very sad and debilitating disease.
So very sad to see such a vibrant, healthy man one year ago and to know he's gone today.
(Note: I respect her privacy and grief and therefore will not post these. Trust me, they are sweet, proud parents and everyone is all smiles :) )
There are a couple of things that I learned from her dad in the short time that I knew him, to which I feel honored and special:
·         To deeply love and cherish your family, spending as much time with them as possible! We hear this all the time but do we actually do it? No regrets…that’s my motto.
·         To work hard but play harder and to have a passion (boating, fishing and anything water related was this man’s)
·         To love life and everything about it: the successes, the failures, the obstacles, the set-backs, the moments, the accomplishments, etc..  Life is what we make of it but the obstacles we face are all part of some greater power’s plan.
These are my resolutions for 2012 (instead of DIEting…such a losing battle anyway).
My friend has a very sad heart right now. My heart aches for her.
No words I can say will ease her pain.
However, I hope that by just ‘being a friend’ and listening and loving her I can offer her some comfort and joy.
I look forward to the day when her heart is at peace and she can laugh again.
It will come. It always does. It just takes time, as bad and indefinite as the cliché is.
In the meantime, I plan to continue to nag her to exercise, run, bike, weight train, eat right, drink wine (hello..that is my motto!), laugh, smile, cry, scream, etc…anything to exert some positive energy, just like I always have!
Hey, that’s what friends are for!!!
Merry Christmas to all my followers!

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