There is SO much to be grateful for...and not just this time of season, but year-round.
I've written previous Thankful posts (in 2017, in 2016, in 2015 and in 2014), and I honestly don't know if I could say it any better. Bear with me, I'm gonna go with (mainly) what's been said before, but tweak some of it to make it more current.
* My family. I am so absolutely in love with my husband and three amazing kids. They don't usually run with me (though the youngest daughter ran her first 20K last summer, and the hubby joins me at a few races now and then), but they put up with me and my running. And, they don't complain too much about the running shoes scattered throughout the house or the occasional icky toenail. On occasion, they do ask me about my running...without my having to prompt them.
|Thanksgiving weekend 2017|
*My friends. I have an abundance of awesome people in my life. I appreciate all their kind words, messages and hugs. Some of them are just as crazy as me, and have been known to run Ultra's overnight, in the heat (and humidity) of summer...complete with lightning, rain, and Christmas lights. Some of them drive (and fly) crazy distances to run marathons with me. Others have hopped on airplanes and met me in Chicago and Las Vegas. They make me smile and feel warm & fuzzy.
|My favorite pic of Max and me|
*Freedom to run "my way." I don't have be fast. I don't have to run every day. I don't have to run excessive weekly mileage. And I don't have to love every experience in my running shoes. Most importantly, I don't have to impress anyone other than myself. Running has liberated me like nothing else. It has shown me just how strong my endurance really is, and it has kept me humble on many occasions as well. It's my reality check.
*My virtual running buddies. There are so many wonderful people who have become dear friends, and most of them came to me via this blog and my running page, Running on the Fly. There have been countless messages, well wishes, (virtual) high-5's, and many laughs shared through our computer screens. And, there have been some tears and sniffles, too. I have met some of these fabulous peeps in person, and look forward to meeting many more.
*The racing community. I don't consider myself a racer, but I love the atmosphere on race day. There's something about an entire bunch of strangers, all running towards the same finish line, that makes me feel at-one with all others on the race course . Nothing is better than the final 100 feet of a race...the finish line fanfare is intoxicating.
*The gift of running. Having spent most of my life believing I was not an athlete, I am so humbled (and proud) to call myself not just a runner, or a marathoner, but an Ultra Marathoner! It's not my intention to impress others. Instead, I hope to inspire them to violate their own comfort zones. I now have eight marathons under my belt (three of which are ultras!), 44 half marathons, a few 10-mile races, and countless races of other distances. If I can be an "athlete" (with my less-than-athletic body), anyone else can be one, too.
|Approaching the finish line with my daughter, at her first-ever 20K|
*The gift of a successful rally-back.
Being side-lined from running for three months last year (following an emergency surgery) was tough. This time last year, I was well on my journey back to racing, and had just finished the Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. A month ago, I ran my eighth marathon, and I have been smiling ever since. My rally-back has, indeed, come full-circle. I'm ever grateful for the journey and all the highs and lows and lessons learned along the way.
So, those are the main things I'm reflecting on this week, and my heart is ever so full. How about you? What are you thankful for?
**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run... We're talking about all things Thankful. Join the party!
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