All of the Thank Yous

I'm writing this as I drive up to Corning, NY to attempt running my first marathon. 

The past 2 weeks of training have been rough to say the least. I'll write about the lessons I've learned throughout this process later, but after 5 days of no running and talks of defferment, it's safe to say I've learned a lot. For now though, I want to take some time to thank the people who have helped me on my journey to tomorrow's starting line- and hopefully, the finish. 

Thank you to the friends who got used to hearing, "I can't, I have to run in the morning." 

Thank you to the friends who stayed over my apartment and hung around waiting to start their days while I ran from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Then there's the friend who stayed over my apartment and actually allowed me to drag her on an over 10 mile run to Yankee Stadium and back.  Morgan, you are amazing and I knew you could do it.  Thanks for being such a good sport as I then proceeded to drag you to Smorgasburg and the UWS for a barbeque when all you wanted was a nap. 

Thank you, and I'm sorry, to everyone who put up with my incessant "run talk" - and a special thank you to the people who willingly submitted themselves to it by asking how training was going and genuinely being interested in my response. 

To all the interesting people I've gotten to talk to on various group runs.  Our conversations helped to pass the time and keep running something I consider a fun social activity. 

To the strangers in Central Park who were unknowing participants in races.  And to the strangers who paced and pushed me- words may never have been exchanged but we knew we were helping each other out.  It's a runner thing. 

To the people who read these rambling blog posts and actually seem to enjoy them.  There's no greater feeling for someone who loves to write. 

Thank you to JackRabbit- the store that fitted me for my first pair of "real" sneakers and introduced me to the wonderful community of NY runners.  The fact that I owe so much of my social life, my feeling of belonging to NYC, my knowledge of running, and countless fitness opportunities to a store is crazy.  I owe so many thanks to my NYC Running Buddies.  If it weren't for each and every one of you that were a part of Tuesday night Union Square social runs when I first showed up, I honestly don't know if I would love running today.  

Nick- you amaze me with you speed and challenge me to push my limits. 

Paul- You have proved to be a spectacular running partner- many thanks for the early mornings in Central Park and for your appreciation for potatoes. 

John- I apologize for the recent crazed visits- "I'm not here to buy anything I just need advice!" Your calm, reassurance has helped my sanity. 

Patrick- Your leadership on Saturday morning long-runs has been great.  You led me to my first 14 miler, introduced me to my now favorite route around Randall's Island, and have dragged us to some pretty crazy (and awesome) destinations. 

November Project.  The accomplishments and bad-assery of the people in this group will probably be the reason I sign up for another marathon eventually.  I am surrounded by ultra marathoners, triathletes, crazy trail runners, and general fitness rock stars.  Seeing all of your commitment, dedication, hard work and accomplishments is beyond motivating.  But the paradox of NP is that is has simultaneously been a reminder that FITNESS IS FUN.  I had been losing sight of that and am so glad to have rediscovered it.  Among a group of 100 or so super competitive athletes, I have found myself smiling and laughing and just enjoying myself more during a workout than ever before.  I am so excited as more and more of these people go from fitness friend to real-life friend.  Cheers to more sweat and much more tequila! 

Modge and podge.  Although they may not understand my running addiction, they are always there with a hug and a "good luck." My real thanks to them is for keeping me grounded.  Although I am a cranky bitch whenever they tell me that I don't "HAVE" to run 16 miles on a Saturday morning- sometimes I need reminders that there are things more important than marathon training.  Of course, I know this.  But as someone who does things 110% or not at all, I sometimes need someone to grab me and say, "Don't risk serious injury because you're stubborn and won't stop running." Me?! I would never... 

The emotional support my parents have given me on non-running related things this past month is more than I could ever thank them for.  There is absolutely no substitute for the knowledge that you are unconditionally loved.  It's that love and support that will get me through ANYTHING- 26.2 miles is nothin'. 

Luciano, thank you for the running chats and lending me the torturous stick.  And Robert, for dealing with multiple 5 a.m. alarms throughout the week. 

Thank you Aunt Dawn, for joining me for 3 miles on my longest training run- the company was greatly appreciated. 

Thank you to everyone who has wished me luck and sent me positive vibes and well wishes. 

David, thank you for being the friend who I blame for catching the running bug.  There's far too much to write to you, so I'll stick to thank for lending me your watch, d00d. 

Claudia- from the moment I walked into your office I knew I was supposed to meet you. More than my first massage- you have already given me hope, guidance and knowledge. I know this is the start of a beautiful friendship.  Thank you for your trigger point foam roller, my car-ride reading, the tape jobs (so patriotic) and the words of advice.  I promise not to accuse you of yelling at me anymore! 

Tiffanie, you already know what we mean to each other and no amount of words could sum it up so I won't even try except to say that you, more than anyone else, will be right beside me every step of the way!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Curly and Sam- thanks for being crazy, too. 

Lastly, I look to the front of the car and see my Nanny and Poppy.  Driving me to my first marathon.  The thought of seeing them at the finish line is making me tear up already.  These two people are, and always have been, my biggest cheerleaders.  My grandpa, who ran 2 marathons in his 50s, has sat behind the wheel going on 7 hours now to bring me to pick-up my bib.  

I don't know what I did to be dealt the hand I was given in this life.  I only know that I am incredibly, overwhelmingly, grateful. 

Legit, I am crying.