The next day, 6:30 again for another run. This time, I took things easier, and it was more enjoyable. The intense runs where you push are nice for improvement, but getting to just enjoy the act of running by having it be moderate enough to get the rush but easy enough to go into autopilot and not be struggling allows you to enjoy the best part - quality friend time.
We took a different route this time. She showed me some new paths, like the way to the front of west windsor from the tow path, and a nature trail loop, the first part of which was a nice broad grassy path, and the latter part of which was overgrown and involved ducking and stepping over stuff, then by the boathouse. After the run, we stretched and talked some more.
5.1 in 44:52, 8:47 ave. It was 70 degrees.
After that, the bride treated us to manicures and gave us beautiful hand-made earrings. Later, the rehearsal, followed by the rehearsal dinner, which was suuuuuuch a good time for me to just be proud of all the ways the bride and groom have touched our lives and made them so much better by being in it. In big ways and in those important behind-the-scenes ways, they've demonstrated living out their convictions. Such wonderful people.
Then, the bridesmaids went out to pick up some refreshments for the next morning - wedding morning!
The next day, I woke up at 4 out of a bunch of pent up energy or emotion or something and just had to walk around the hotel a lot for some release. Then, wakey at 6:30 to get ready! My fellow bridesmaids+ worked their magic. The bride looked incredible. Then, off to the big event!
It was finally here. It was perfect. The sunlit church, the cello and piano, the grand entrance, the groom's excitement, the dad's love, the siblings' support, the homily on how this marriage would be a tangible living out of the great wedding to come... never realized how powerful and far-reaching a human ceremony could be, and their first act together after becoming husband and wife... communion, since their relationship with God must be first over all for them to love each other as much as they were meant to, and praising God the whole way.
Then, the reception, with excellent toasts, catching up with friends, and a bittersweet sendoff...
That night, I had trouble sleeping, and after wandering around campus at midnight, I did some barefoot strides in the stadium and just prayed a lot. I've been somewhat dead spiritually this year, so it was good to talk to God for a while. Learned a lot about myself... where I've been wrong, still struggling through some raw emotions, but with revelations/realizations and just the fact that I was praying about stuff, it was a good time.