Sunday, September 13, 2009

So many reasons to celebrate!

This weekend was action packed with lots of wonderful happenings. In order to squeeze it all in, this is going to be a long post!

Way back in March I decided that I would train to run the Chicago 5K Lung Run. I've always wanted to run a 5K and since my Mom was sick with lung cancer, this seemed to be the best fit. It happened to coincide with my birthday so we figured we'd make a full weekend out of it. Then to make it even better, my sister and brother in law decided to join us. Talk about excitement! If they hadn't come, we wouldn't see each other until Christmas, so it was great timing.

We stayed in a great hotel close to Navy Pier. The kids were so happy and excited just to be in a hotel. They loved the lobby, the elevators, the beds, EVERYTHING! It doesn't take much to make them happy.

On our first day together in the big city, they gave Tia her birthday presents. Uncle Reggie surprised Tia with a real guitar. She's been making up her own songs ever since!

On Friday we went to the Sears Tower and I was able to check an item off my 'life list'! We all went to the top, and even went out on the glass ledge (sort of). I couldn't go all the way out. My brain kept telling me not to do it. I had to sit on the floor, with my back to the view. As long as I wasn't looking, I could scooch out backward far enough to get a picture.

D.R. and Tia didn't have the same problem!

Then came the big day...race day! After forecasts were threatening rain all week, it turned out to be a beautiful, warm, sunny day. This year was the biggest turn out ever in the history of the Lung Run. The crowd was amazing and full of energy.


I started at the front of the pack with the fastest runners, only because that's where I was able to find a spot to stand. I didn't count on being passed by about 500 people as soon as the horn blew! That was pretty deflating. Then of course as the race progressed I was actually the one passing people. That was a great feeling. I was able to finish the race in 45 minutes. I was hoping for 40 minutes but I guess it just wasn't in the cards. It was pretty hot, there was absolutely no shade, and I got a major cramp in the third mile. I figure I now have a time to beat for my next race, even though I kept saying I never wanted to run again.

Running a 5K was also on my life list, so in one weekend I was able to check two things off!


Sadly, my Mom didn't make it to see me finish this race, but she knew I was training for it and that I was doing it for her. She was my inspiration and motivation. She thought I was crazy for taking up running in the first place, but I know she was smiling down on me. Ironically, the race was on the 12th, exactly 3 months after her death. She would have been proud, and she told me so before she died.

On a lighter note, we took the opportunity to celebrate Tia's birthday while Aunt Kimmie and Uncle Reggie were in town. She even picked out her very own cake.

Then, can you believe after all that exercise I got from running, my family had me out walking around Chicago for the rest of the day?! Here are some pictures of what we saw along the way.

It was a nice mini-vacation. I'm so glad we did it. It couldn't have been a more perfect weekend.

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