Lessons From The Big Easy

This last weekend was one of amazing memories.  Not only did I have my first visit to New Orleans (which is my favorite city now), a special tripnola with my mom, but also spent time with some wonderful people and fellow runners.

Since 2012, I’ve been a member of the WDW Radio Running Team.  Our mission is to raise at least $100 per runner for the Make a Wish Foundation, through the Dream Team Project, to send kids to Disney World.  We’d meet up before races for a group pic, hang out, walk the mile hike to the start, then I’d usually split up and venture to my own corral.  I’d sometimes have a running partner, but often on my own.  I’d see the “blue wave” (as the team is nicknamed) on the out and backs and we’d all holler and cheer each other on.  I would finish the race, head out, and see them on our Facebook group.  My friends, who started the team, are wonderful and I knew the team members were as well, but lesson learned this weekend on how much I was actually missing out on!

The group decided to run the New Orleans Rock N Roll 1/2 last year and I nolateamreally regretted not going after seeing the pictures and hearing the stories.  Without hesitation this time, I signed up as soon as registration opened.  Best decision ever!

I learned that exploring a new city and making memories with a group, that included my awesome mom, is priceless.  I also learned how much fun it is to let pace goals go and run with people.  I’ve done this with friends I train with – at Savannah, Kiawah, even Boston.  But here, we are all from different cities, run different paces, and I wasn’t sure. After a day together, I knew I would stick with the run team. Turned out to be such a nolaracegreat experience.  We paced a young teammate to not only get his own 30 min PR, but crush his dad’s PR – which was his ultimate goal.  We talked, took photos, encouraged each other, ate King Cake and had jello shots.  SO MUCH FUN!

momWe soaked up every minute of the weekend together and already have plans for next year…as well as some races in-between.  And while I will still race some events with a pace goal, overall this was a perfect, and timely, lesson on how amazing life is when you truly surround yourself with good people- exploring, laughing, encouraging, and making memories.

So happy training, racing, and memory making!

Jennifer

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