This weekend was so much more than a race. It was the first time in about 7 years I was able to meet up with two of my very best college friends at the place where our friendship began. My sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, at Ohio Northern University was holding its annual Race for the Ribbon 5K. Krisi invited me down to run it with her. We originally planned to run the Toledo half marathon, but supporting our sorority and visiting at ONU was more important. Sarah lives in Lima and was able to meet up with us that morning. Now that all three of us are moms, it only seemed fitting to bring the families together since they had never met. The kiddles and I (minus Adrianna who was at a Girl Scout camp) loaded in the car bright and early Sunday morning for our trip to Ada.
Thank God for Google Maps! (Yes, I can’t remember how to get to the college I went to for 4 years. It happens.) I wish they had that when I was a college student. I had to rely on following directions from my dad, who provided great directions. The problem was in the driver’s seat. We made it to Ada in a little over two hours. Driving through campus was nostalgic. I pointed out buildings where I lived, cheered, studied, worked, and the kids were enthralled. I suppose they don’t really think there was life before I was a mom. It was also interesting to see how much had changed since I graduated. It’s like the campus doubled in buildings!
After making a long walk to an open building for a bathroom, we waited there to meet up with Sarah and her son. When we saw each other, it made me so happy! She looked exactly the same, like she didn’t even age a day! We hugged and squealed like typical cheerleaders/sorority girls before introducing the kids. I’m sure they were looking at us like crazy people, but I didn’t care. Krisi was still getting things together for the race and work (she is an athletic trainer at ONU), so we took a few pics and reminisced.
We walked back to the race area, and I saw Krisi and her son. I ran up to her and squeezed her. And she, also, looked exactly the same! Have we aged since we were here, or was it the college glow coming back?! All of this just made my heart smile. The best part was is felt like we were never apart for all of those years.
All of kiddles were participating in the Kids’ Fun Run, which my sons turned into the kids’ race. Those two little shits (I meant that in the most loving way possible) have a fierce competitive streak, plus they wanted to smoke their older sister in the run. It was cute watching them all line up together and sprint the lap around the Tundra. Maybe future Polar Bears? Cole came in first, followed by Cael. Alexandra was either 3rd or 4th and promptly pouted something about her shoe coming untied and almost falling off. I had to laugh to myself. She was only upset that her brothers beat her.
The Race for the Ribbon 5K kicked off at 11:00. I was really impressed with the turnout. As ZTA’s major fundraiser for breast cancer awareness, each sister needed to recruit at least 3 participants. There were parents, students, alumni, and faculty coming out to support the cause. Krisi and were going to run the race together while Sarah kept an eye on the kids and was our official photographer. The race started off on the Tundra and took us around the campus. We chatted the whole time about all sorts of things. If I didn’t know any better, it was like we were still back in college, although I never would have been caught running in college. We made our way back into the Tundra and had our own cheering section waiting to lead us to the homestretch. Krisi’s son and Cole and Cael were waiting with arms outstretched for high fives, and they joined us for the photo finish. There was no official clock, but we finished in a respectable 28:33.
After the race, Sarah, Krisi, and I sat and chatted while the kids played. I apologized a few times for being the horrible friend who basically fell off the face of the earth after getting married and having kids. Thankfully, they understood, as the three of us have all been in that boat within the past 13 years. We made a pact to get together more often. I don’t doubt this will happen.
This race and mini reunion capped off a great week and left me feeling positive leading into what will be a difficult week or so at work. Now it’s time to regain focus for work and prepare myself physically and mentally for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, which is only 18 days away!!!! Then, time will tell if the hard work I put in this training cycle will pay off.