Yesterday, I participated in the most amazing event in Nashville, Tennessee.  26.4.26 was a memorial run/fundraiser for all the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.   As a mother of a 1st grader myself, I have been intensely affected by the deaths of those children.   I've never had any event in the news affect me quite so much.  I have given my children so many more hugs and kisses in the days since the tragedy, and my heart just aches for those parents who can no longer hug and kiss their own children. 

On Monday, a few Nashville area runners texted back and forth about maybe having 26 runners run 26 miles on Saturday in honor of the victims.  Then, a Facebook page was started.  More and more people shared the page and the run was born.  It ended up with over 1,012 runners (some in Nashville, some running other places) running 10,000 miles and pledging over $30,000.   I was honored to be a part of it.   I'm the one with the frizzy blonde ponytail in the light green shirt, white hat, and pink headband to the left of the angel sign.   

We were each given an angel to run in honor of.  Here is mine: 

I had studied the sweet faces of all the children.  I had read their biographies.  I had cried for each of them.   I knew immediately which child my angel was when I received it.  I could picture her little face.  I just spent the run praying for her parents and the parents and families of all the victims. 

I had not run more than four miles since my ankle sprain 5 weeks ago.   The race had a 6.5, 13, 19.5, or 26 mile option.  Three ladies and I decided to do the 6.5 option--together, we ran a mile for each of the 26 victims.   Each one of us was a mother of three and had a child close in age to the victims. 

I wasn't sure how my ankle would hold up, but it did just fine.  I was tired by the 6th mile from detraining, but overall, it went well.   It's strange.  I'm very sore today from a 10:10 paced run on a flat course.  I think I may have altered my gait and run extra softly (maybe finally midfoot striking!).  My calves and hamstrings and inner thighs are quite sore.   It was the same course as the Music City Half Marathon, my half marathon PR from October.  There was no way I could run 6.5 miles at the pace I maintained that day.  It's amazing how fast detraining occurs.

I've actually enjoyed my little 5-week break from running.  I ran a few miles here and there-- 2, 3, 4-- and cycled several times, but this was just the perfect cause to get back into my sport.  How could I not participate? 

I feel like my ankle is 85-90% well and my wrist is probably 95%.   I'm looking forward to many happy miles in 2013.