Filled with Gratitude

As of today I’m officially a week out from the Berlin Marathon and with the nerves just beginning to set in, I’d like to take a step back and thank so many people who have been supporting me over the last several months (for some, years) as I have been training like crazy for this.

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To my husband, thank you for allowing me to take over our weekends over the last 8 months to prioritize my long runs on Saturday mornings. I really appreciate you never complaining when I don’t want to go out and be social on Friday nights because I need to get a good night’s sleep for my Saturday long run. Thank you for also holding me accountable to get up and do my runs in the morning, even when I have those days where I just don’t want to. I can think of a couple times recently during our move where I would be so worn out but you would encourage me to just put my shoes on and get out the door knowing that I would feel better once I got going on my run. It’s because of you that I didn’t miss any of my scheduled runs over the last 14 weeks and I’m so thankful to be able to say that. Thank you for celebrating the accomplishments with me but also being there to pick me up after a race has gone poorly. Thank you for supporting my wild and crazy dreams, and for waking up at the crack of dawn for my races to come cheer me on. I love you and am so grateful to have a supportive husband through all of this who may not understand why I do what I do but supports me 100% either way!

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To my family, thank you for the time you have spent over the years coming to so many of my races even if only to see me for a brief moment as I ran by. I started running seriously in high school and without your support, I may not have continued with as much commitment and passion as I have had in the last several years. Thank you for coming in from out of town to see me run year after year in Champaign and for your hugs and comfort when things haven’t gone well. Thank you to Lindsey for the times she’s spent riding her bike alongside me for a long run or coming with me on some of my recovery runs to take my mind off of the running. Thank you for also humoring me and trying out this running thing and running races of your own. That has been one of the coolest parts to me and I will never forgot the time Dad, Lindsey, Jack, and I raced all together in Ohio, the time Mom crossed the line of her first 5K and completed smashed her expectations of time, or the time I got to run side by side with Dad in his first half marathon on a scorching day in Chicago. I’m so glad we’ve been able to share these memories together and I look forward to creating even more in the years to come.

To my friends, thank you for being understanding when I haven’t been able to be very social on the weekends due to early morning training runs or just being too worn out to leave the house. I know sometimes I’m a lame 25 year old but I’m thankful you still want to hang out despite my early schedule. Thank you for the texts and calls to wish me good luck before a race and to see how things went.

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To the Busse Woods Running Club, thank you for the constant support and for providing a social outlet for me with running. It is refreshing to be around others who understand what makes a runner’s brain tick and to get to run with many of you on the roads! I have been so inspired by many of the runners in the club and their personal journeys with running. It has been so cool to see everyone working hard over this summer as they train for their fall marathons and half marathons and I am excited to see everyone crush their races over the next couple of months!

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To my running coach, thank you for pushing me to set and achieve scary goals and for designing a training plan tailored to me that has allowed me to see 3 half marathon PRs in the span of about 5 months. When I came to you in January with a goal of breaking a 1:40 half marathon with a current PR of 1:41, I had no idea that would mean doing that 3 times over improving each time and sitting on a 1:35 half after just a half year of training together. You have helped me find my confidence again and that has made all the difference this go-around.

To the running Instagram community, thank you for all of your motivation and support. This community is so positive and it is refreshing to have social media be used for good. You all inspire me daily with your commitment to your own training, balancing full time careers, families, school, etc. and still crushing it out on the race course. Although we may be spread throughout the country or even around the world, it is so cool to be chasing our dreams together and reassuring to see that hard work does pay off.

Thank you to everyone who has played a role in this training cycle. The nerves are starting to set in but I feel so ready and prepared to tackle this marathon and am excited for the opportunity to chase my big, scary goals on Sunday. To everyone racing in Berlin, good luck and have so much fun! Let’s do the thing!

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