I have now completed the 30KM run around Cultus Lake aptly named Around the Lake Give ‘R Take 30.  It felt different crossing the finish line for this race than it did when I completed my half-marathon a year and a half ago.  In the latter I had this incredible high and an incredible sense of accomplishment, second only to giving birth to my daughter.  But today, I feel more of contentment.  The run was challenging and the training to get there was arduous; but doing the actually race was simply enjoyable.  And the finish line filled me with a huge amount of thankfulness.  Yes, I am incredibly thankful for my health and the capability of my body.  However, even more than that I am so deeply thankful for my husband and my daughter.
It was just yesterday that I got this notion that I was running this race for Rayna.  I’ve been excited that I would dress Rayna in her Puma ‘running’ outfit for race day.  But as I was feeding Rayna breakfast yesterday I began to tune my thoughts to my last race.  I started thinking about how that race was on the day that was the due date of our first child who was miscarried and how I especially chose to run that race with that in mind.  And here, present this race day, is my beautiful daughter.  I started to think about seeing her at the finish line dressed in her oh so cute outfit and I decided this race is for her in some way or fashion.  My excitement grew and I was very much looking forward to giving her a big soggy hug at the completion of my run! 
I began to feel emotional as I approached the finish line.  Like I could have cried had I wanted to (I did not).  So as I neared the finish line and saw my handsome husband with his camera ready I felt such complete gratitude. There before me was my incredibly supportive husband.  And right by him was my daughter in my mother in law’s arms.  My absolutely beautifully precious daughter.  As the hours pass since that moment, I am realizing to an even greater extent that I am immeasurably blessed to have a beautiful family that I love so inexplicably completely. 
Now as I eat my post run Smart Pop laden with loads of butter, I think of the beautiful golden leaves that surrounded me on parts of my run and I am turned to think of thanksgiving.  Not Thanksgiving, as in a single day to demonstrate thankful hearts, but thanksgiving, a state of heart that embraces all these moments that make up the path of life and appreciates each one of them for where they take us. 
These thoughts compel to speak my heart right here and say: Thank you Ryan for being the man of my dreams, a husband I can pride myself to stand beside, and an incredible father who makes his daughter laugh like no one else and who will garners the utmost respect as she grows up.
So how was my trail race?  It was really great.  And was it worth all the love/hate training feelings I had?  Absolutely.  Even when I popped out a rib? Certainly.

Yeah, this trail race was real good and this one was for you pretty girl!  Your mama loves you so much.