Almost as if K put in a special request to the Big Guy, the day was incredibly beautiful. slightly brisk, with a brilliant blue sky and minimal wind. We gathered early to get settled, visit with the 1000+ people registered for the race, watch the 1-mile children's race, and get ready to sweat in the memory of K.
Me, Cheese, and his family.
(His hand is not actually on my butt - turns out, my ass has widened to the point of being unrecognizable - thanks pregnancy!)
At the start - Cheese is in front of me (126), and I am slightly behind, in white sunglasses, looking down as I cross the mat.
I ended up running with another runner who was 17 weeks pregnant,and who later commented like three times, "That was the slowest 5k I ever ran!" I wasn't sure if that was an insult to me or not, but I am pretty sure that no one forced her to stay with me the whole run. AND I am also pretty sure that I heard her weezing over that last hill, right around the time that her ability to verbally communicate me ceased. So I guess if you choose to run a 5k with a chick that's 7-months pregnant, well, then, you probably have to get over the fact that you're not going to win the darn thing.
Me. in the white glasses to the left. Yeah, I was tugging my shorts out of my thighs. Apparently the thighs got super hungry during the race and decided to eat them (Joys of Pregnancy #211).
So here I am, coming up the finish line, bring it in at 31:50 (not too shabby for a chick who is sporting an extra 30+ pounds and a human in her stomach). And I really did try to race it as much as possible - I was able to maintain a conversation the whole time, but I was also pushing my limits a bit because I felt like - hey - if I am doing this in the name of K, then I need to try to do my best. And at 7-months preggo, a 31:50 was pretty darn close to my best.
Bringing it home strong!
Me and Cheese later that night at an appreciation dinner for the volunteers.
The following day, my husband participated in a golf tourney in K's memory, which was also incredibly well-supported. The weekend was wrapped up with me and Cheese, laying on the floor of my sister-in-law's living room with the rest of the family, reflecting on the awesomeness of the weekend, and laughing until I peed my pants. Over four days, there was not a single moment absent of love and appreciation. In the last year, I have been incredibly amazed to see how strong Cheese's family has been through this tragedy. It's nothing short of an honor to be consider part of this family.
So here's to another 10 years of celebrating K's life. May they be just as wonderful as this weekend.