May 27, 2015

260 Miles Later

Over the weekend I completed the Run Across Georgia (RAG) with my team of Stroller Strong Moms. I blogged about this before, and then got really annoying on social media as I solicited donations from family and friends to help raise funds for the House of Heroes, a non profit that does repair work on the homes of elderly and disabled Veterans (fundraising is still open if you're still itching to donate). So I won't go into detail about the background of the race, but rather talk about the experience.

I was all about the thumbs up in these post run pictures.
This was after my final run, so worthy of the double thumbs up apparently.
We started from Fort Stewart, Georgia (right next to Savannah) and our first runner took off at 6am on Saturday morning. From then on we ran through the day, night, and next day, until we finished at 5:36pm Sunday.

Our team captain put a D and an H on the back of our legs for Daren.
We also ran with ribbons on our shirt that had his initials
First Hand-off
Our relay team consisted of eight other women, three who have done RAG before. We each had six legs of the relay with varying mileage on each leg (my longest run was 6.7 miles and my shortest was 3.1). The day runs were hot, but not nearly as bad as it could have been (and has been in years past), and the night runs weren't too bad either thanks to our awesome pit crew who stayed close by. We ran through what felt like the middle of nowhere, along highways, and through quaint little towns.



In one town filled with American flags, they grilled and had free food for all the runners and the local fire department with their one truck sprayed water on inbound runners. It was so very old timey America and absolutely adorable. People would give money and checks along the way to help our cause and the other teams were encouraging and friendly and made the whole thing a really positive experience.


My legs held up far better than I anticpated and only my feet are a little tender and tired two days later. I had a couple blisters along the way, but no show stoppers. There were times when it was hard, and there were hills that felt like they went on forever, but literally running for a cause was so motivating. Not to mention the amount of support I recieved - I have never done a race where I felt so supported and encouraged by friends and family.



Speaking of support - my initial fundraising goal for the House of Heroes was $4,000. Due to a generous builder in Columbus, GA who donated $2,000, I raised my goal to $5,000. As of this point with online donations and checks, I am at $6,673. Just totally insane. I cannot (except that I can) believe how generous and awesome people are and cannot thank you enough if you were part of that effort to raise this money for such a worthwhile cause.

Starting my last run
Miles says I look like the unibomber with my sunglasses/hat combo.
This is the second year that the Stroller Strong Moms took first place in the female category, but the first we we also took first place in the civilian category. The trek itself was memorable and awesome, but winning was definitely icing on the cake.



Alexa, the owner of Stroller Strong Moms


Miles stayed in Savannah with the kids and I came home to a gift certificate for a massage and a house that was cleaned from top to bottom. It was so sweet and wonderful and totally annoying. Because how in the hell did he have time to do that while watching the kids? It's a miracle if I can get the dishes cleaned in a given day. But none-the-less it was a great surprise to come home to after such a memorable and special weekend.

I also received these flowers yesterday from a friend whose husband was medically retired from the Army due to a traumatic brain injury. Her note read, "thank you for running for those who cannot" and brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that those 260 miles were worth every single step.


To be honest, I'm kinda sad that it's done. I may still just be on the runner's high from it all, but it's something I would absolutely do again and could only hope to be surrounded with a group as supportive and inspiring as this group was.

Why didn't I take my sunglasses off?!

13 comments:

  1. After reading this, I kind of feel like I AM on a runner's high. This is more amazing than I thought it would be in the first place AND YOU WON?

    What's the story on stroller strong moms? I'm clearly out of it and kind of want in on something like this! It's so inspiring. You are inspiring and over $6k? You are a freaking rockstar. Double thumbs up for sure.

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  2. I just spent 10 minutes reading about the four (wuh wuh) locations of Stroller Strong Moms. Is the owner one of your instructors? And when do you start? I'm so jealous you have something this awesome. Chicago... not the best location for outdoor workouts, but I dream of how cool this would be!

    So glad you are involved and love how badass you are. So happy I'm friends with someone so great. Also, seeing Daren's name on the van and his initials on your legs made me teary. xo

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  3. Shit! Why you gotta make me all cry-y?!

    You are so awesome, congratulations on all your victories, they are well deserved.

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  4. awe you got me all teary again!
    you done good girl and were proud of you!
    must sign up for a race if i survive going back to cf! ha!
    xoxo

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  5. Caroline,

    I am in tears reading this post. I have no words for your giving heart, your strength and humility. I am in awe of your badass-ery, your physical prowess and beloved devotion to your family and those you love. Daren is smiling, Cale is so proud ... you did it!

    Melissa

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  6. You are so incredible. You make me want to run for a great cause. I hate running. You make me want to be part of a team again. How wonderful to raise so much money and have such a huge accomplishment!

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  7. You are so bad ass. I only wish I were half as bad ass! ;) Was someone along side you guys at all times, or how did that work? Just curious. Love the action shots of you, gave me goose bumps! It's really humbling to see pictures of you running in honor of your brother in law, who died while serving this country that I live in. All of it leaves me speechless.
    PS So glad you raised as much as you did!

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  8. Wow. Impressive. Nicely done.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to support you in this. The photos are amazing. (And I never remember to take off my sunglasses either!)

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  9. This is all so awesome. You must be so proud. I'm even more impressed seeing the logistics of it all (was that a baton you had to hand off? I hope you didn't have to run with it but it doesn't look like it!) I love the DH on your legs and seeing his name on the van window made me cry. And I'm just blown thinking of how many people are going to be helped by all of this. Incredible.

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  10. Yeah tears over here too. Love that y'all honored Daren in so many ways. So touching.

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  11. So proud of you, Caroline! Congrats on completing the run and raising over $6k for a such a wonderful cause! You continue to inspire me!

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  12. You are awesome!!! What a huge accomplishment and fun race. Way to go!!!

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  13. You are awesome!!! What a huge accomplishment and fun race. Way to go!!!

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