A Streakiversary!

Today is a very special day to me and as much as I tried to bring darling daughter up to my level of excitement she kindly told me, Mom, it is your day. It is special to you. And she is right.

I started my running streak on December 30, 2011 because I figured why wait until January 1, 2012? Why not just get running? And since then I have never regretted my choice. Today is the first day of year 4 and I am excited although due to timing and creepy noises under the house, I only had time for 2 miles. But I did wrap up year 3 with a BANG yesterday!

About a month ago I received a phone call from a gentleman at work. You see, I am the race director for the Run & Walk for the Whales, he saw the email about the race and virtual run, and wanted to know if he could run the course while he was here. He is getting married today by the way but I digress. Back to that first phone call. He was running 50 half marathons in 50 states but I found out yesterday some of those half's were actually marathons. Way to go dude!

Being a runner myself I couldn't step in his way. He suggested paying for a cyclist to guide him but I quickly volunteered myself, recruited a co-worker to join us for about 7 miles, and recruited dear hubby and darling daughter to be at the half marathon turn to cheer us on and have some nice orange slices. Everyone was saying OK and I even reached out to another coworker asking her to be at the end with a few office mates to make it special. Come on! The guy deserved a finish celebration of some sort even it is is a few coworkers saying "YAY!"

The weather was absolutely perfect and I couldn't have asked for better conditions. The gentleman, Roosevelt, was a bit not so well. He was battling the end of a cold and got a hamstring injury just recently on half marathon number 46. He was determined to finish his quest no matter what and I was determined to ensure he did. He said we could run ahead of him and not worry about his pace. My co-worker, Lauren, did run ahead but stopped at key mile markers to cheer for us coming and run along a bit more. I did some loops to stay running but not leave my new buddy behind.

At one point Lauren started walking with Roosevelt and I ran a bit ahead but come back when the story was out of earshot and then I had to stay beside them jogging slowly along. You see, Roosevelt was spurred to go on this mission of runnning a half marathon in every state and on all 7 continents two days before his brother died last Thanksgiving. It was his brother's request that Roosevelt do this to help him with his mourning. Roosevelt agreed it has helped and the level of gratitude from this gentleman was beyond comparison. Being in his presence on such a momunmental journey and taking in the beauty of the islands from new eyes was inspiring and just reminded me how much my spirit is meant to run and how running is allowing me to contact with amazing people, to live a richer life, and to make a difference in the way I feel I am meant to. I couldn't help but think of how I was running for Toby while escorting Roosevelt through #50 of his half marathons in every state. He truly was soaking in the journey and seeing the beauty in each and every place. He confessed he has learned a lot along the way since the first state on December 15, 2013. He was a casual runner before and jumped into that first half with running maybe 12 miles a week. He quickly learned the importance of quality shoes.

But he also learned what a lot of runners learn. The bigger lesson. The lesson about who we are, life, and what really mattters. He put it well when he said you do a lot of soul searching and reflection when you are alone for 3-4 hours running.

It was probably the longest I have ever run and chatted with someone. When I run with dear hubby we barely talk as we are focused on training, etc. This run was a run of support. The pace was slow for me but I enjoyed it. It was a good training run and it was nice to be able to run along and talk as much as our hearts wanted to. But it was also nice to have the moments of separation when we were each able to reflect on God's beauty, our journeys, and the wonders of life. I have no idea the full extent of things that went through Roosevelt's mind but when we were getting near the idea he said his mind was overflowing. I asked if it was all good thoughts and he said yes. Thank goodness!

As we neared the end I started texting updates back to work so my co-workers would be able to greet us. The first we bumped into was Lauren who said she would join us back at the finish when we parted at the half marathon turn where she had dear hubby to give her a ride back to the start. That was our plan and I am glad we stuck to it since she worked some magic back in the office making a finish sign for Roosevelt. And I am glad she was there at the end to talk since my co-workers took my breath away and I was teary eyed struggling to keep it together. The few people I hoped for at the finish was a swarm of support of co-workers, volunteers, and passengers waiting for the next whale watch. Everyone was cheering and the number of people that came up to Roosevelt at the end to shake his hand and tell him how inspirational he was still brings tears to my eyes. Seeing Roosevelt well up with tears pulled at my heartstrings more.

It was the perfect transition stages to our individual running journeys. Roosevelt is moving on to Phase 2: a half on each of the seven continents starting with Antarctica. I am moving onto year 4 of my running streak but I feel we will both forever carry the memories of yesterday in our hearts. As of yesterday, I have run 5,014 streak miles. As of today, I have 5,016 streak miles. I am blessed.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for those who supported me and Roosevelt.
Daily Affirmation: I am doing good work.

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