Sunday was the Nike Women's Half Marathon here in DC. Luna Bar was one of the main sponsors. This meant not only was I able to race with a fun group of Luna staff members, but also work the expotique on Friday morning. As a professional athlete, I feel it is important to not only give back to the community that gives so much to me, but also be in touch with the market your sponsors products reach.
Working the expotique gave me the opportunity to meet so many people. One person stood out to me. She had a glow about her. As I asked her about the upcoming race and training, she shared that this was her FIRST RUNNING RACE EVER. Her mom is battling cancer and she was racing for her. I held back my tears. This is FEEDING YOUR STRENGTH (Lunabar's new campaign). While feeding your strength is about proper fueling- to me it is also about heart. What are you feeding yourself to stay motivated- what DRIVES you? This wonderful woman was INSPIRED by her mother to get out the door daily to run. Race day was to be a celebration for her Mom.
Race day was a celebration of 15,000 women who all had one goal- cross the finish line (and to get a fun Tiffany finisher necklace). They each had to FEED THEIR STRENGTH along the journey because let's be honest- there are days you just don't think you can get out the door. They were each inspired by their goal, maybe by a situation like the woman's above. No matter what they were going to cross that finish line. It is within these stories I draw so much strength when I struggle. I am inspired by all this beautiful, amazing women!
I crossed the line in 7th on Sunday, with a huge smile of gratitude. DC is home now and to me this was a celebration of the last few months and the road ahead in a city I am falling in love with.
MORE INSPIRATION: This sweet girl's name is Hannah. She is one of my buddies through Redemption Hill Church. Over the last few weeks, not only has she gotten into softball, but also RUNNING! I gave her one of my LUNA jerseys and now she is out there inspiring her whole family to get out the door. I received a text Saturday before the race that she and her older brother were out running laps in their hood. I was still in my pajamas! Their mom and dad both ran their best run splits in their session that morning. The desire to push for your goal is contagious and I LOVE seeing it grow in their family.
TOUGH AS NAILS: My 80 yr old Papa ran his half marathon on Saturday. 2:09! He continues to make my jaw drop as he pounds away at the pavement each day. Because of his circumstances of having cancer multiple times and not being 100%, it would be easy for him to feel angry. But as my Papa says- IT IS WHAT IT IS. The above photo is from when he broke his neck post a bout with prostate cancer, a few years back. His neck wouldn't calcify so they had to do a halo. He progressed from laps in the hospital with IV pole, to 400s on track with his walker, then to trail hikes with poles. Always focused on progress and faster splits- he never skipped a beat, never missed a training session. I pray I am able at 80 to be half the athlete my Papa is.
There is inspiration all around you. There exists amazing stories of courage and passion if you take the time to share with others. You never know what you will learn or how it will drive you toe that start line.