Today was my first race in over 3 months since I tore my Achilles tendon. Yet when my friends asked if I wanted to sign up for the Polar Dash race series, I was excited to have a race to look forward to again.
We headed out early, despite the challenges of slippery roads, time set backs, and yes, me forgetting my trail shoes and having to run home to get them.
We got to the starting point literally less than 10 minutes before the 14 mile start. I missed meeting up with some amazing women, but did catch Penny from 26.Yikes and SarahJeanne from In Mid Stride.
Lots of laughter, hugs, and chatting and we were FREEZING, but happy.
We headed to the start corral, and I realized WOW…I am doing this. BRRRR….
Not a 1/4 mile in, and we were faced with standing water, ice, and detours through snow banks. But we were HAVING FUN. Crazy right? I mean, really, who signs up for any sort of distance in JANUARY, in CHICAGO? Yup…we did.
So we took a lot of pictures. Stopped to walk the icy parts, and the best part? I didn’t look at my Garmin, at all.
Several comment were made about our attire…and the best being named the “Polar Princess’s” and the “Tutu crew.”
We stayed together.
No runner left behind.
We finished happy.
And afterwards we all met up for lunch, and of course the traditional Bloody Mary. Yup. I drank that.
And in the end, people can question our pace time, our finish time, or how we placed….
But guess what. For THIS race, NO ONE cared. It was about being together as friends, laughing, talking, reconnecting, and just RUNNING to be free.
While eating lunch and shortly there after, I found myself laughing…laughing, and smiling so hard I had tears streaming down my face.
THIS is something I don’t do often enough…
But I did it today. And I’m better for it. I thank all of my friends and family, both near and far, for giving me a reason to smile, laugh, live, and run.
I speak my heart out.
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