We kicked off last weekend with a local race that we were so excited to participate in as a family! This race was in support of local law enforcement. There is a pretty awesome local organization called the Ainsley’s Angels. This organization was started and named after a Marine’s daughter with a terminal illness, who has now passed. So many people have been touched by this organization since its beginning, as members participate in road races nationally! Ainsley’s Angels athletes have a variety of special needs diagnoses, and make up the better half of a team in these road races. My dear friend and sister in Christ, Mary, whose daughter is almost exactly Mitchell’s age, has Spina Bifada. This sweet girl is a ray of sunshine, and a great friend to our Mitchell. Mary asked me to push Nancy in this race – my very first race with the Ainsley’s Angels. I was so excited to be a part of this! I pushed Mitchell and Nancy, and Steve had Julia and Aubrey in his stroller!
These two had the funniest conversations the whole race. It is hilarious when you hear your kids start to have real conversations with their friends. They spent at least five minutes talking about how the straws on their water bottles were both blue. I think they look like some pretty cute glasses models there, too.
Our group got a bit of a head start. They asked Steve if he wanted to start with me, since he was in the very back. He assured them about ten times that he would have no problem catching me, which of course, is so true. He started in the very back, and I was pretty proud that he didn’t get me until after we passed the second mile marker! He slowed down then so we could run together, and got to hear a little glimpse of Mitchell and Nancy’s mid-race conversations. Julia was dead asleep by this point in the race.
I also got to run the race with our church (who was a sponsor of the event), and some pretty great co-workers. This picture was from when a few of us went back to finish again with some of the runners still running.
Mitchell’s best little buddy, Colby, ran the race with his family too! They thought their medals were pretty awesome.
I got some sweaty post-race hugs from my boy. You would never know it, but when we pulled into the parking lot, it was POURING. Lightning directly overhead. We’d already discussed that it probably wasn’t safe for the kids to participate, and that I’d go run it with my co-workers’ team, and leave Steve and the kiddos in the car to wait – and we’re talking just 30 minutes before the race. Then, about ten minutes beforehand, the clouds suddenly parted and the rain stopped completely. There wasn’t a drop to be seen, and the race kicked off without a hitch, only a few minutes late. I was so happy that we could still do this fun event as a family! Two years ago, Steve was deployed and I ran alone. Last year, I worked all night the night before and Steve ran alone. This year, we finally got to do it together!
I felt pretty good about the race after it was done, and it had me a little more tempted to run the Marine Corps half marathon in a few weeks. We’ll see how tempted I am by the number of training runs I do this go round. I think I’ll probably end up winging it and signing up again like I did two years ago, but time will tell.
After the race, we headed over to Duck Donuts for some much deserved sugary breakfast, and Julia’s beloved and favorite pink donuts.
This was such a fun start to our Saturday, and all around fun-filled weekend. And it was only the start. More on the rest to come!