Day 2 of the RRCA Convention started with a group run at 6:30am. We started from the hotel and ran to the National Air Force monument which sits on the top of a hill overlooking Arlington Cemetery. From the top, we could look across the Potomac River and see the lights and monuments of Washington D.C. (it was still quite dark!). It was quite an impressive view. I unfortunately do not have any pictures to share from that run because I left my phone behind, below is a picture of the monument I took the next day. The run was short and sweet, only two and a half miles, but a nice way to start the day. Once back at the hotel, it was time to get ready for a jam-packed day of events and seminars!
The morning started with a breakfast and the annual meeting of RRCA. Next up, seminar #1. There were three or four going on at the same time, so I had my choice of what I wanted to do. I chose the seminar discussing Running Clubs and Run Specialty Stores. The speaker was co-owner of one of the D.C. area’s largest running stores, Pacers Running. She discussed the benefits of a running club/running store partnership and how it can benefit both entities. Among the group, were representatives from Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado, Washington D.C., and Ohio. It was interesting to hear about their experiences with their local running stores.
Lunchtime brought an inspirational and uplifting speech by Olympian Deena Kastor. She discussed how she came to find running and her start in the sport. Originally, she planned to retire from running and racing after graduating college. It wasn’t until her coach got her questioning whether she had truly pushed herself and done all she could in running, that she realized she still had so much more to accomplish. The main focus of Deena’s speech was positivity and “giving what you have” to the sport of running . There will be challenges along the way but, according to Deena, “when you are challenged, it’s your chance to go above and beyond the person have been” and to become a stronger more resilient person. You can learn from the challenges, failures and the journey to become a stronger runner, a stronger person or you can focus on the negatives and stay stagnant not moving forward.
The afternoon brought more seminars and chances to learn from other runners, club coordinators and race directors. The finale of the weekend was a 60th Birthday celebration for RRCA and an awards ceremony. I was looking forward to getting myself dolled up for a fancy dinner! 😉 Before dinner, there was a small reception with drinks while people finished bidding on the silent auction that had been going on all weekend. While at the reception……who did I run into???
None other than Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi!!! Talk about star struck!! lol 🙂 I was definitely stoked about that! I had a chance to briefly speak with Deena regarding her speech earlier in the day. I expressed to her how much her words inspired me. I felt a lot of what she said could be translated into daily life and just improving a person’s overall approach to life. During dinner, there was a speech by Bart Yasso!! Yea, THE Bart Yasso. 🙂 It was so exciting to have the opportunity to be in the presence of such great runners and inspirational people.
I’d have to say overall, the most funny and unexpected thing that I experienced all weekend happened after dinner. I was waiting outside the elevators to head up to my room and looked over to see…..Hal Higdon and his wife standing beside me. We all got into the same elevator…..so naturallly, I asked for a selfie!! lol 🙂
Needless to say, it was an awesome day full of once in a lifetime experiences. I am super grateful for having the chance to be a part this event and to learn from such inspiring and successful runners.