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My parents live in Missouri on a 40 acre farm. My Dad calls himself a "gentleman farmer", that means farming for fun, not for profit. What does he raise, you ask...mostly cats, some cattle, dust and apparently flies!!! This past weekend, my family met up at the farm to celebrate the end (we hope) of my oldest sister, Susan's battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer a couple of years ago and finished her last chemo on 06/02/2016. So, what did we do to celebrate? We sat outside telling stories (ok, that was mostly, Dad), eating roasted vegies, meatloaf, bison, pink cake, zucchini cake and beignets!!! Susan actually wanted it to be a sewing weekend and she did do a lot of sewing with a couple of friends that she had invited. Mom and next oldest sister, Peggy, and my brother, Stuart and his wife, Karen, also did some sewing/planning of projects for the future. I did not. The highlight of the weekend for me was just being all together with my Mom, Dad and siblings. As most anyone can relate, adult lives are busy and being in the same place at the same time with the whole family is a rarity and a gift. But, I'm not gonna lie, the next best thing about the weekend was taking a much needed run with my long lost running partner of old, my sister, Peggy. When we were teenagers, Peggy and I used to run together. She always ran faster than me...seriously, I beat her only once and that was because she had appendicitis!!! She has been wanting to get back to it and join in my quest for the states that are near her home in Maryland and she started training a couple of weeks ago after losing 40 pounds!!! I had a feeling when she told me that she wanted to get up and run at 3:30am that she was going to kick my ass again. I woke up at 3:30 on Saturday morning in the tent, yes we camped, but what we really did was glamp! That's right, glamorous camping!!! Yes we slept outside...but my husband, Brian and I slept on a futon mattress with a foam topper, 800ct sheets, a homemade quilt and plush luxurious pillows. We had a rug, tea lights for ambiance, a sitting room with carpet, solar lights to mark the entrance and a chandelier!!! I brought along my best friend, Jenn and she had an adjoining "suite" with a lantern, tea light and bedside table. Jenn, had agreed to run with me and Peggy, but said that she would run behind us at her slower and more comfortable pace. I texted Peggy at 3:30am, "Good morning, sun is up just before 6, I'm running then, running in the dark isn't smart around here, these hillbillies will run us over!" My parents live on a dirt road and I have seen some beat up pick up trucks racing these turn riddled roads with great zest and little concern for people. Back to bed for me, Peggy and Jenn. At 5:30 I got up and dressed, stretched, loaded up my water belt and hit the bathroom. Peggy and Jenn were up too, and I could see that Peggy had on her game face and was itchen to go!!! A little back story, Peggy has worked in retail grocery for her whole life and is used to getting up at o'dark'thirty...I know that she functions better at that time than I do. Six am is more in my wheel house, but I was on vacation...ok, no more whining, we are running! Off we go, Jenn sets out behind us. The run is just under 5 miles and has only one significant hill (at the end, of course). I let Peggy set the pace. She settled in and we returned to our childhood together. I have run 31 1/2 marathons in the past 3 1/2 years. I can settle into my pace and breathing in the first mile and Peggy's pace was right there for me. It was so comforting to have her there, I hope it was for her too. Our route has an outhouse about 2 miles in that I have often utilized and we did and continued with no difficulties. We ran the whole way, just stopping at the top of the hill for a few paces and it was everything I wanted in a run, time with Peggy! With this as her first run over 2 miles, I am confident that she will be ready to run a 1/2 marathon in December in Delaware. We talked about foot wear, insoles and touched on nutrition and how often to run as the race approaches. I'm sure we will have many more discussions as the race grows nearer. Peggy went off to the shower and I turned back on the road to collect Jenn. She wasn't far down the road, but I did have to run that hill twice, arghhhh!!!

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