There was a mix up with the time, and until Tuesday, I had 8am in my head. It seemed perfect, allowing Neil enough time to bring the kids and cheer me on before heading to his "turkey bowl" at 9. Unfortunately I learned on Tuesday that the race didn't actually begin until 9:30! Seriously?! I know Neil would have dropped football to come watch me if I'd asked him to, but I couldn't bring myself to deny him the enjoyment of getting dirty on the field with his boys. After all, it's something he looks forward to annually,and considering the events of last year's game, I felt that he was especially deserving of a happy experience this go around.
Here I am on the porch, ready to rock 'n roll in my cheesy shirt. Initially I was regretful about having paid $5 for the silly thing, but Neil, who always looks on the bright side pointed out that it was my first race, therefore the shirt was an absolute necessity. :) Notice Ryan representin' my Niners. Too bad they didn't deliver that afternoon.
The start of the race was crazy chaos, and Misty and I were about trampled. Things quickly thinned out as several people ran ahead of us and several fell behind. We kept a good pace for the first two miles and I felt surprisingly energized. I think we carried on a full conversation for at least the first mile and a half, which I never thought I could do. Around mile 2.3 I started to feel like I might die, but a slight burst of energy (and I mean slight) hit me around 2.8 and I was okay until the final stretch when it all became mind over matter. Even seeing the finish line didn't push me to go faster like I thought it would. By that point my legs felt so weak and jiggly, that all I could do was tell myself to keep going. I had to laugh when I crossed the finish line and saw the clock. Going into this I had both a hope and a goal in mind. My hope wasn't realistic and very unlikely, but my goal was within reason and very possible. Well, as expected, I did not fulfill my hope. But I did reach my goal with about 20 seconds to spare. And that was good enough for me. I checked the results page the following morning but didn't see my name anywhere, so I'm wondering if my number was covered up as I crossed the finish line and the camera therefore couldn't identify me. Oh well. 3.1 miles really isn't far at all, and compared to you crazy marathoners who read my blog, I'm sure the above paragraph sounds pretty pitiful. Nevertheless, I'm really proud of myself and would definitely be interested in doing another race in the future. I'm by no means pumped to try for even a half marathon, but a 10k doesn't sound too unreasonable.
Here we are after the race, looking oh-so-gorgeous! We ran side by side the entire way. I loved having Misty with me. She was such a great distraction and truly made it go by so much faster than if I'd ran it alone. I think I may be in the beginning stages of understanding the concept of a running buddy. I still prefer doing it solo, but I am definitely open to running with Misty again any time! She actually did this 5k last Thanksgiving, 5 months pregnant. What a girl!
When I got home I ran next door to relieve my neighbor, Christie, who had my kids. Within twenty minutes Neil and Richie got home from their turkey bowl. And I am pleased to announce there were no broken fingers this year! From what they said it was an awesome turn out. They had four teams of eight with two games going at a time. Richie's team won two games, including the championship, so he earned a trophy. Neil's team, on the other hand, won one game and did not earn a trophy. Luckily, Richie was nice enough to allow Neil to be in the picture. :)
Neil was so quick to take off his obnoxiously bright yellow knee high socks, claiming they were soaking wet (boohoo), that I was unable to get a picture. It's really too bad because they were the epitome of picture worthy, and easily the same pair of socks he's worn to every turkey bowl for the last ten years at least, so you can imagine the magnificence of which I speak. In place of the hideous(ly awesome) socks are Neil's (crap) slippers, which are covered in paint and falling apart. Not quite as classy but close. Richie was sporting his wife's girly slippers, and literally had just taken his shoes off and slipped these on when I asked to take their picture. While it all seemed like a pure coincidence I'm now wondering if they planned it out this way beforehand.
It was a really nice (and active) Thanksgiving morning. I am thankful for great friends who made it even more fun for both Neil and me. We have been very fortunate in the friend department since moving to Ripon.
Early that same afternoon, we headed over to the Ivers', a family we know from church. Tammy is the second counselor in the Young Women's presidency and so we work closely together in our callings. She invited us last minute and while I was prepared to cook our own little feast at home, we accepted with gratitude. We had a nice time, ate well and hung around until halftime of the 49ers game. On our way home we stopped at Toby and Tami's (also very last minute) and ate pie while the kids played for a few minutes. It was a great day from start to finish.
In keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit, I asked each of the kids to tell me what they were thankful for. Chloe said, "I'm thankful for flowers, my blanket, my family and my whole house!" Ryan said, simply, "Elephants!" So profound. My silly, sweet children. I love them to the moon and back times infinity.
They were watching a movie together yesterday morning and I suddenly caught them cuddling and had to capture it. Naturally once they saw the camera the calm and sweet turned to rowdy and silly.
"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." - William Arthur Ward
It has been a rewarding experience this month taking more time than usual to ponder the many reasons I am thankful. It has been humbling to recognize that the things that make me the happiest often seem "routine" and "ordinary," but truly are the biggest, most significant things. Love my life, and am so thankful for it. Happy Thanksgiving!