40 Miles for 40 Years - Celebrating a New Decade with My Sole Sisters

by Jodi

Post-run victory photo.  Hillary, Tanya, Me, Carissa, and Devon
On November 12th I left my thirties behind and stepped into my forties.  I'm so excited to see what this new decade holds.  To celebrate I asked my Sole Sisters to collaboratively run forty miles on my 40th birthday.  They were happy to oblige.

The morning of my birthday it was unseasonably cold (in the low 30's), crisp, clear, dry and sunny - my favorite kind of running weather!  I was giddy with excitement to get out there and run.

Carissa, Tanya, Devon, and Hillary all drove down from Portland to Newberg and we headed out to Champoeg State Park, a mere six miles from my house.  I am so blessed to have this treasure practically in my backyard.
Pre-run Selfie
I mapped out an eight mile loop for the five of us to run.  Together - as Sole Sisters - we'd run forty miles.  As soon as we entered the woods we were treated to the crunchiest bed of leaves.  From my earliest memories, I have always loved crunching through piles of leaves in the fall.  It just makes me happy.  We stomped, crunched, and kicked our way down the trail. We may (or may not) have thrown a few leaves at each other too.  Devon later hash tagged a photo from our run #leafstompingfordays  It was so, so, SO TOTALLY fun.

Another highlight is the bouncy bridge.  A couple of miles into the Champoeg trail system is a bridge.  It has a lot of give to it and is super fun to jump up and down on.  I may (or may not) have jumped up and down while my friends ran across the bridge to make it even more bouncy.  The sudden cardio burst may (or may not) have flared my asthma.  I wheezed for the next half mile but it was totally worth it.

The five of us ran leisurely, switching back and forth between friends.  By the end of the route we'd all spent individual time with each other.  I know it was special for me, but it seemed my friends were really enjoying the run too.  It was hard not to feel like we'd been given an incredible gift to run on such a beautiful day in such a serene and peaceful setting.  I relished each of my beautiful Sole Sisters and marveled that the basis of our now intimate friendships came from time together on the run.  They are such a gift to me.
Post-run selfie
I brought my tripod to take post-run victory pictures.  Unlike the hike Carissa and I took in May, I actually knew how to use my tripod this time.  Tripod 1.  Jodi 1.  I'm pretty sure the tide is turning in my favor. At least I hope it is since I take pictures for a living.
post-run photo off the tripod.
We gave each other sweaty hugs and I stood in the driveway and waved as they drove away.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate health, life, and friendship than to run 40 miles for 40 years.

Thank you Carissa, Tanya, Devon and Hillary for being such a wonderful source of fun and encouragement in my life.  I love you all.

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