Well I hope that you all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving Weekend. My Thanksgiving turned out to hold some unexpected but welcome reminders on Being Thankful Daily...
Thursday morning I woke up bright and early for the Arlington Turkey Trot 5K - where I met up with good friends Denny & Thomas to get some exercise. We ran into two of my *favorite* Team Z teammates IronCAT and Ollie - who were both looking GREAT on and off the course.
I felt like I had a pretty good run considering that last week was pretty "light" in terms of workouts - I was still using "Recovery from Ironman" as my "excuse du jour" - and I had a finish time of 35:59 (pace of 11:35 per mile). I started pretty well and then the hills kicked in and at first, I tried to "stay with" and then "catch up to" and finally simply "keep in sight" both Denny and Ollie on the 5K course. It was a hilly course through the back neighborhoods of Arlington near Lyon Park and I was passed by Santa & Mrs. Claus along with 2 elves, a reindeer and a Gingerbread Man. I think if you are going to get passed in a 5K - there is no better group to pass you - LOL!
As I finished the race, I stood near the finish with Denny - waiting for Thomas to finish up. Thinking we had missed him - we split up and I headed for the Water table to grab some waters and look for Thomas while Denny stayed near the finish line. As I was walking back to the Finish area (with waters but no Thomas...) I was approached by a young lady named Lizzie who asked me if I was involved with CANCER to 5K. (I was wearing my team tech shirt)
Lizzie mentioned that she knew about the group through her friend Helen Stehm, one of our Spring 2008 teammates who passed away this past June '09. She told me that she had come out to the 5K that morning to run in honor of Helen's birthday - Wednesday, November 25. She didn't have quite the race she was hoping for but as we talked, we both knew that at that moment - Helen was right there with us in spirit and I said as much to Lizzie - hoping she knew that even though she might have had a rough race - her race was a wonderful tribute to her good friend Helen.
I invited Lizzie to come and run with the CANCER TO 5K group this coming Spring and as I walked towards Denny and Thomas and thought about the "odds" of Lizzie and I meeting - I teared up. 2 people in a crowd of 2,000 runners - brought together on Thanksgiving Day thanks to Helen. Proof yet again that every day the people who touch our lives in so many ways continue to "Live STRONG" in our hearts and minds!
Helen Stehm at the Survivor Harbor 7 Race - June 2008
It was also a reminder to me, yet again, to be so THANKFUL for the good health and fitness that I continue to enjoy and the wonderful friends and family that I can share it with.
Thank you Lizzie & Helen - for that wonderful Thanksgiving Day gift - I am forever thankful.
Life is Good! Live STRONG!