One year ago yesterday I ran my third Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I PR’d by 11 minutes from my second RnR. And, almost 40 minutes from my first. It was a great day. But, not only because of the race. Because of the entire weekend.
You see, it wasn’t just a race DAY. It was a race WEEKEND. I was lucky enough to have friends come in for the weekend AND the race. A long time friend I’ve known for 25 years from St. Maarten. Running his first half marathon. We ran start to finish together. It was awesome. He pushed me when I needed it. I kicked his ass when he was struggling with cramping just before the finish. We crossed hand in hand at the finish. Together. I let him beat me by one second. One second. Because I’m a good friend like that. ;)
Another friend was a casual college friend from freshmen year of college. We randomly reconnected on Facebook. Found a deeper connection with running. She was an absolute dear and hooked us all up for this weekend.
Then two internet peeps. Friends I met online, and became very close with. How amazing, they came in for this race. I couldn’t believe I was going to actually meet them IRL. And, lookie there, they were more amazing in person.
So, 5 kind of strangers, put in a Chicago luxury apartment for race weekend. We talked, we drank, we ran a little race, we drank, we talked, we laughed, we cried, we drank some more. We shared stories. Good ones. Bad ones. We had hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.
We did a little podcast. I got dragged into it as well. I giggled too much. It was fun.
Oh, yeah, and we went to Google, Chicago. One special person had the honor of giving a little speech there. We were like kids in a candy store in that place. Trying to act kewl while jonesing for just being in the building. It was a special little speech. We all cried a bit. We were proud too. Do Epic Shit.
I also shared an amazing moment (ok, maybe a half hour conversation) with the amazing Claire http://rfgr26.tumblr.com/ when I ran into her at medal engraving. We had met briefly before. But, we shared moments here. About running. About life. About us.
It was an amazing weekend. One I’ll never forget. We shared something special that weekend. Because I found that even when I don’t think it, I’m surrounded by people who love me. Even some of whom I’ve yet to meet.
When I took the last person to the airport I was sad. I cried. But, I smiled too.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. “ - Dr. Seuss
Oh, yeah…. and I may or may not have been in a strip club at 3 am. But, that’s a story for another day. ;)