THIS is what happens.....
I really had no idea just how much I'd enjoy my 5K run with a little running buddy. Knew it would be great, but turned out to be even more fun (and inspiring) than I had imagined.
Saturday arrived - steeped in thick, cool fog, with a light drizzle. With 3,500+ people attempting to get into Sea World for the Dan Newlin Reindeer Run 5K, a new race location this year, arriving was anything but easy.
Patience was the word of the morning, along with *delayed start*. As one person said,
"It would've been a riot had they begun on time."
The race was scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. At 7:50, there were hundreds of us still trying to get into the parking lot. Not pretty.
I tweeted my disappointment as I sat in traffic gridlock, with 2+ miles to go to even enter the park. And tweeted some more, adding pictures of the ordeal.... What else was there to do? I had plenty of time on my hands. *sigh*....
But a little patience and a late start led to a fantastically fun race with our little buddies in Girls on the Run . I learned this weekend there's nothing quite like running 3.1 miles with a tenacious 10 year-old who loves to chat, chat, chat... oh, and sprint! :)
It went something like this:
You get the idea.
All with nonstop chatting.
With music and Sea World characters along the race route, lots of Santas, reindeer, and elves (both running and watching), and decorations galore, we had f-u-n! Before we knew it, E and I had run her very first 5K! Woo Hoo!
After our practice runs together and getting ready for this race, we missed our other running buddy, S, who arrived a little later, but still ran.
We met up at the finish line, followed by high-fives, photos, hot chocolate, candy canes for breakfast, and big, big smiles. We had a blast!
And in the middle of it all, I had an unexpected surprise...
My very first '15 seconds of celebrity' as someone actually recognized me from the blog... Wow!!
A pretty lady walked up to me and asked if I was Robin from the Turtles blog, and with a surprised look (I'm certain!) on my face, I said yes. (I wasn't wearing a personalized race shirt with the blog's url, which I typically do).
She introduced herself as Jen from Jen Getting Thin , one of my local blogging buddies here in Central Florida, and her Hubs, Stan. Imagine my surprise! We chatted, hugged, and promised to keep in touch. She's been dealing with a stress fracture for months and is slowly getting back into walking and running. Yay! Jen, thank you for saying hello!!! It was so great to meet you in person! :) Sorry we didn't get a picture!
A few minutes later, I heard them before I saw them.....
The Old Bags
Or, at least that's what they called themselves! Turns out, this energetic group of gals belongs to the Galloway Running Group that I took part in last summer. Small world considering there were 3,500+ people at this race!
A few days later, I received a photo album [LINK] with lots of pictures from our Saturday run with these awesome little ladies.
So much fun. Looking forward to upcoming seasons to be a running buddy again!
Paying it forward.... one running buddy at a time!