Friday, October 9, 2015

Before I forget... thank you!

Hey guys, I'm coming at you with a rare morning blog to be sure I get the chance to post!  I started this last night at the airport waiting for my flight to Chicago and am now typing furiously from Chicago to get this up before my day starts.  I'm about to begin marathon weekend and I am SO excited.  Today when I left worked and checked off the final boxes on my training plan and realized that I only had one left to check... I definitely got a bit choked up and teary eyed.  Marathon weekend is here!!

I've written before that this was the first marathon that I am doing because I personally and solo-ly, wanted to do it. I've had Chicago in my mind since middle of last year and I'm so eager to experience this race that I have heard so many amazing things about.

Despite that this is my first race that I was determined to do by my own desires, it is certainly not a race I have done on my own and without the support of so many.

First off, this is the first race that I have ever run where I ran it for charity.  Which means, my registration wouldn't even be possible without so many of you contributing to the charity I am running for, Girls on the Run. As longer readers know, I coached for Girls on the Run this past spring and couldn't be happier to have been able to raise money for not just any chapter of the organization, but the local Atlanta chapter. The money that many of you helped contribute to is helping to fund young girls to have better self esteem, goal setting, body image, self pride, and health by introducing them to the sport of running.  My first thank you goes out to everyone who has donated.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my Mama, Jenna B, Malory, Teenie, Leslie, Coach Jess, Brick, Lindsay, Gram and Gramps, Gayle, Bill, Bronson, Meaghan and Jon, Kathi B, Jillian, Kathy V, Alex S., Carolyn S., Kristen L., Bjoern, Dad and Armelle, Greg B, Matt P, AJ (lol Tity Boi), Jemima, and Shayla.  You have made such a difference and your contributions mean so much!

I also feel overwhelming gratitude to everyone who has run miles with me throughout this training process.  First off, my girl Shayla, who kicked off a morning running crew with me in Atlanta before leaving me to head off to law school.  And after that Janet and Jarrett who met me so many mornings as well as Leon, Ayanna, Brick, Cam and Sheba, who also made guest appearances on many mornings.  When in New York, I ran with Jess and Aubrey without any question.  Jess getting up just a few hours after her flying in to Albany to meet me for morning miles. And everyone who coordinated long runs in Atlanta that I joined with Tes, Lisa, Mike, and everyone else.  Thanks to the random guy in New Jersey who took me on a random and bizarre 14 mile adventure. And thank yous to the Movers and Pacers crew for many Sunday runs and race weekends.

Thank you to all of the people who have supported me in other ways throughout this training cycle as only you people know how truly crazy I am and how much of a toll the process has had on me at times.  Thank you to my mama for answering frantic phone calls from me with all sorts of crazy panic attacks and questions, for answering them calmly, encouraging me, and telling me every day that I am amazing and awesome.

Thank you to Earon for giving me advice on nutrition and training in a way that only a seasoned runner and athlete could. For continuing to give me advice even when I pretended I didn't need it and told you that I disagreed with you over and over but followed your advice anyways (and then passed it along to others... because it helped.) I'm still working on the sleep thing, but I do understand the value of rest :)

To Kimmy, for bringing me milk and bananas and saving my life with a pre-brunch snack of hard boiled eggs she stole for me from the hotel breakfast since she knew it would be closed before I got back from my long run. For letting me use her car even though I was foul with sweat so I didn't have to run along a highway.  And for just being all around amazing and supportive. I know it doesn't seem like much, "She brought you eggs?" but this sort of little thoughtfulness is what means so much and will be motivating me on race day.

To my bridesmaids who didn't complain or stress when I tried to coordinate runs around bachelorette parties and wedding day activities.  Even on the biggest day of your life Meaggie, you were so welcoming and accommodating to my nutty schedule.

And beyond that, thank you to Teenie and Ryan for hosting me marathon weekend in Chicago.  I know that things changed a lot from when we first made these plans, but I wouldn't want to be staying with anyone else and you have no idea how much I appreciate you letting me into your home. Thank you!!!

To all my work colleagues who have made the training possible.  My manager for listening to me obsess over things throughout this process.  Greg for giving me advice about training and running in Thailand and joining me on the treadmill many mornings.  David, who ran Chicago Marathon last year and supported me through getting my runs in while on a few trips this summer.  And for letting me break first to go eat lunch, understanding if I didn't, I'd be cranky and grumpy and no fun for anyone afterwards :)

Thank you to Jess for continuing to be my go-to person for crazy questions and pushing me to not let myself be lazy and be better than I can be.

Brickney, my personal cheerleader and constant supporter.  You have no idea how much it has meant to me to have you come cheer for me at triathlons, understand my need to go to bed early, know what I need more than I do at times, and always, always supporting me and celebrating my long runs with me.  You have been such a huge source of encouragement for me and I'm so excited to be able to give it back as we work towards Miami!!

To India and Sergio for keeping me motivated and inspired.  As well as Kristen L, Kathi B, Hollyn, Brick, Ayanna, Leslie, Kristen D, Gayle, Armelle, Shereese, and everyone else who has been pushing themselves to conquer new distances running.  Seeing you guys face new challenges and push yourselves helps me to push myself too.  I love hearing and learning from all of you as we go after these things together.  My love, Jenna B, you are a constant inspiration to me as well as what I feel like has been my own personal cheerleader for many years.  Thank you for just being you!

Dad, Armelle, Nicholas, Tristan for coming to cheer for me in the rain and allowing me to sneak out for runs during their visit.  For continuing to support my love of running and get involved yourselves as well!  I love seeing the boys take up running and all of your support means so much.

Heidi and Dave, who fed me and took care of me the week of my 20-mile run.  AJ, for listening to my craziness all the time.  And everyone else I know I am forgetting.

To all my blog readers, including Christina who is going be out at the Chicago Marathon with a SIGN, cheering for me!!?? You guys are AMAZING.  Thank you so much, you have no idea how much that means to me.

Thank you to all of Movers + Pacers, for encouraging and motivating me. For making running fun, for building a family in Atlanta, for pushing me and encouraging me.  For Ayanna coming to Chicago with me!!! And everyone else who I know is cheering for me all over.

Looking back at blogs and pictures, it has been such a fun and amazing summer of runs and wonderfulness.  I can't believe how fast it has all gone by. There's been so many people who have inspired me and I am now getting choked up yet again about something corny.  When the anxiety turns into wanting to cry, I guess that means race weekend is here!!  I only have one more box left to post on my race plan! Tears!

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