We are big on tradition at my house. Now that we are in to the 3rd year of this blog together, many of you already know that!!! Every June almost my entire family takes the same summer vaca together to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in January or February we make our annual trek up to Wisconsin to go snow skiing and for major holidays the same lovable cast of characters packs up the kids and heads down to our roots in central Illinois to celebrate with our parents. I guess it’s not enough that we (my sister Paige and our cousins Darcy and Jamie) all live in the same neighborhood and raise our combined 11 children in the same schools, sports and social activities! What can I say–we love each other!!!!
So several years ago Paige, her husband, Tony, Darin and I added yet another annual event! In late January, we start our training plan and in April all four of us along with our good friends Jane and Bob, run the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon down in Tennessee. 13.1 miles on an April Saturday morning with a band performing at each mile, a huge party at the end and a free concert that night!! Key point: Most races are on Sundays. Saturday is great because it allows us to have the race completed with the rest of the weekend to hang out in Nashville! This is that weekend! It’s going to be 80* and beautiful!! The concert is Montgomery Gentry. Even though I am not a big country music fan, I love Nashville and am looking more forward to the party and concert than the actual run!! BUT… the party will be even more fun BECAUSE I’ve completed the race and achieved my personal activity goal for this spring.
I’ve run lots of races but I always get that same butterflies in the stomach feeling that I have right now. It’s out of my comfort zone but signing up for an event pushes me to do more than I would without an end goal or a commitment. It makes me really think about it and when race time comes I usually go on “auto pilot” and run better than I ever do on a normal training run at home. When I say “better” I don’t necessarily mean faster–I mean more comfortable. They say it’s the adrenalin and excitement that sort of carries you through. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s quite an experience. Whether it’s a full marathon (26.2 miles) or a half marathon, undoubtedly there comes a point in the run that I’m tired and I start to ask myself why. “Why do you put yourself in these situations? “Why don’t you just quit and walk back to the hotel?”. My answer is ALWAYs the same–I do it because I CAN. Ten years and 75 pounds ago I couldn’t do it and now that I can, I’m going to!!! I think of my WW meetings and all the courageous people I have met there. I gain strength from remembering all the success stories we share at the meetings and it makes me want to keep going. Thank all of YOU for that!
I’m writing this on Friday night from the hotel. It’s time for me to get some sleep! The photo is of Paige, Tony, me and Darin at the race packet pick up and expo earlier this evening. The race starts at 7a and my blog posts are emailed out at about 720am. So keep me in your thoughts after your read this because more than likely I am running right now and could use all the good vibes I can get!!