Encouragement

I realized the definition of encouragement this morning. I witnessed hundreds of people do amazing things today.

And more than just running.

There were people who came out to support EVERYONE!

Volunteers at water stations, friends on corners holding signs (THANK YOU Sarah & Dusty Frey), family members with blow horns for ALL runners, and complete strangers who looked at your name on your race bib and told you to keep going.

Don’t give up!

You look great.

That is the defintion of encouragement.

I didn’t want to start this blog out about me. Because I couldn’t have done ANY of this without the support from my friends & family- those who sent me early morning texts, facebook & twitter messages –too many to name. Thank you! They made me laugh and smile! =) Made me feel encouraged.

Thank you to those waiting at the finish line for us- Justin, Toni, Gina, Phil, Dustin, & Kaila.

And a special thank you to my husband for getting the stankey legg finish line dance on camera. You always inspire me- in so many ways- and I love you for believing in me. And challenging me. And letting me reach for all the stars in the sky. You know me babe- I’m a dreamer and this is all just the beginning for us.

Starting out, I was anxious. Literally, I had restless leg syndrome. We parked so far away. Nothing like a two mile warm up walk in the cold. But we laughed and had a great time. Sabrina and Brittany- huge shout out for being amazing partners the WHOLE race.

We got there and it was an instant rush of energy. So many people. All ages and all sizes.

Thankfully we met up with Cayla & Adam Truman (congrats for finishing the race you guys — so proud) and Kaila Hart. And I passed my friend Jami who was running the relay. So great to see familiar faces this morning.

We were the last group of people to start, but I was completely fine with that- So happy to be there. So inspiring. Here to complete the race. Time is not an issue or concern. Let’s do this.

****
I ran SOOOO much more than I ever thought I would.

When we ran/walked 10 miles last weekend, we finished in 2 hours and 38 minutes. When we reached 10 mile mark today in about two hours!!

So many hills. Hills that made me pray for my life. And strength to get up them. I moaned. I wanted to cry, but sure enough- there were people pushing me to keep going. Adorable old ladies who power walked past me. I laughed, but loved it. You go girl!

***

At mile 12, I met a 70 year old man and his wife. Power walking.

“Almost there!” I said to them.

“Yes, almost to the keg!” he said. Grandpa is going to get his drink on. Nice.

“Yeah, and they better have it tapped real nice by the time I get there,” said another old man who came up behind me.

Adorable. I wanted to put them in my pocket, but I couldn’t even carry a pebble more.

My legs were jello.

My back was killing me.

My rib didn’t even hurt anymore.

My injuries from the accident were elveated by the pain from my feet and elsewhere.

But we kept on going!

***
We crossed the finish line at 3 hours and 6 minutes! I simply can’t explain the joy I experienced when I ran across that line. And did the stankey legg.

I did that dance during our first dance, first half marathon, and I’ll probably have to do it when I deliever our first baby. I know, that’s not exactly a sight you want to picture, but I’ll still probably do it. But I won’t be posted pictures or videos for that one…hahhah! =)

***
My race partners were excellent. Every step of the way. Brittany was dancing and being silly and Sabrina was coaching me along the way. Asking how I was doing every time I took a deep breathe. Pushing me to keep going- both of you- again, I can’t thank you enough.

***
So how do I feel? A lot better than I thought I would. My feet are sore, but that’s too be expected. I might need a walker tomorrow, But I’ll be wearing that medal around my neck so people don’t judge me.

Encouragement was the cure for my bumps and bruises from my bike accident on Tuesday. And what kept me going today during the race.

Thank you all for being a part of my healthy dose of encouragement for the day!

Looking forward to our next race in May!

Much love,
Ashley

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