I’m about to go run a marathon and I’ve got some thank yous to say. The most obvious and most important ones are to my family. The Astonishingly Incredible Mervus keeps the home front ticking along while I am out running or at the gym, usually both Saturday and Sunday mornings. He took over the early-early shift when our son started high school last fall without batting an eye. When I ask “Can I….?” his answer is always yes. When I’m too tired to cook or wash dishes, he takes care of it just like he takes care of me. My kids are kids. They don’t protest too much when I’m gone and they like treats from the café after long runs. I adore them. They offer hugs when I’m tired and put up with me when I’m bitchy. But without Mervus, this show falls apart, and I am beyond grateful to him.
Then I’ve got my team, headed by Coach Mick. The search for a new coach wasn’t an easy one and it took me a couple of tries to get it right, but I’ve sure found a gem now. Wondering why I am randomly running a marathon in Florida? Guess who I get to meet there! Tough Guy Trainer and the Maestro have seen me through multiple training cycles by now. Lifting weights or getting needles in your butt – these are surprisingly good times to talk and sometimes I wonder if I am going to see an extra charge for therapy somewhere, but it hasn’t happened yet. Instead, these guys believe in me and my dreams over the long haul and help keep me healthy and strong so I can keep doing what I love. This time around I’ve also had some help from a nutritionist, who is still in need of a nickname, but who has taught me a ton about how to fuel my runs and my life.
My local gang populates my training log and without Snarky Girl and Teacher Runner and the rest of the crew, I would be a lonely runner girl indeed. My running girlfriends are the sisters I’ve always wanted. But my virtual running life has also expanded dramatically in the past year or so. The Fast Bitches, my online go-to girls group, are equally ready to analyze splits or outfits from ThredUp. These ladies, well, I can’t really express what they mean to me. The Smart Mouths coalesced around the Hartford marathon last fall. We egg each other on and talk serious smack when it comes to Strava, but we’re also ready to help work through more serious training dilemmas and the life dilemmas that sometimes come along with them. Somewhere along the way, I also picked up the Chicago Boys, my High Power Running Mentors #1 and #2. They’ve helped far more than they realize with everything from race planning to outfit selection. They’ve also provided much of the soundtrack for this training cycle, an awesome mix of modern Broadway musicals, the DJ Girl Talk, a little random hip hop and some electronic dance music. Finally, I started blogging at Salty Running this fall, and behind the scenes, the Saltines provide a huge dose of girl power and laughter on a daily basis.
Saying thank you to some people risks forgetting others so this enterprise makes me a bit nervous. But a few individuals have been in my corner consistently and deserve a shout out for sure. I think Rashi has done more long run miles with me than anyone else and she has to come from out of town to run with me. Thank you for the company and the fabulous talks and the many Starbucks dates. Southern Rock sends me a “go get ‘em tiger!” text basically every morning and is always in my corner. Pete at the FatMan Chronicles turned me on to the Two Gomers and is a great one for PODCAST CHAT! Or whatever other topic we stumble onto. There’s a budding track star out there and GlitterMom and new friends to swim with – These folks and their enthusiasm for sharing the journey keep my own motivation high. If I’m forgetting you, I’m so terribly sorry – apparently it takes a village for me to run a marathon and I am super grateful to my village.
One last important shout out. My parents came to my first marathon in 2013, but they missed seeing me cross the finish line. They’ll be in Florida this weekend and with any kind of luck, they’ll see me cross this time around. I suspect half the time they think their daughter is insane with all this running business, but some pieces of this project – dream big, stay determined over the long haul, do what you love, build your community – these are things I learned from them. Thank you, mom and dad, for always backing me in my crazy endeavors. I realize this one is pretty unexpected, but stay open to life’s surprises.