When I cross that starting line in Hopkinton on Monday and start my 26.2 mile journey to Boston, I will be running for a lot of reasons, and for a lot of people.
I will be running for Josh. I know he loves me no matter what, but I always want to impress him. He will be in my heart the entire way (as he is always is, especially so when we are apart) and I know he will be following my splits from home and cheering me on. I will carry his love with me and use it as fuel, and I will reconnect with him as I always do as quickly as possible once I cross that finish line. I will run for him because he is my biggest cheerleader, and because he wants to "see me fly".
I will be running for my kids. I will be running to show them that it is good and important to work hard and chase your dreams, and that hard work is rewarding. I will be running to show them that women can be good, loving, and devoted moms and wives, and can also have their own personal passions and goals. I will be running HARD because Amanda (front and center in the black and blue dress) has demanded (as usual) that I beat all the boys. :)
I will be running for my Noah. Yesterday he took 5-8 steps all on his own several times, after standing up all by himself, without holding on to anything. This is the baby we were told would likely never sit up on his own, or even hold up his own head. Every day he shows me what love, determination, persistence, and faith can do. We witness miracles with him every day.
I will be running for my parents. They were at my first, second, and third marathons, even though those all happened within four months and involved travel on their part. They spoiled me during our stay in NY for the NYC marathon and cheered me on all along the course with Josh. They always text me right before and right after my races if they aren't there. They give me endless, unconditional love and support in all that I do, and to Josh and the kids. (I can't wait to see them!)
I will be running for Jennifer. Although we met through the blog and she lives on the East Coast, she is an amazing friend to me. She sent me the most fun "get pumped up for Boston" CD mix, and a card and poem that made me cry (and are definitely coming to Boston with me!) And of course a few weeks ago she sent me my most awesome Boston Marathon jacket! She is always there to encourage me, support me, make me laugh, let me whine, or anything else I need, and her friendship is priceless to me. I know she won't be able to get anything done at work until I cross that finish line, so I will have to just be quick about it. :)
I will be running for Brooks! I am so excited and grateful to be sponsored by the most amazing company. I have already met some super cool people and gotten some wonderful opportunities thanks to Brooks, and I am honored to represent them when I race (and will definitely "Run Happy" and be rocking my PureFlows in Boston). I will be wearing my uniform with pride!
I will be running for all of my other family members and friends that have shown me support, encouragement, and love. I will be running for all of the great people I have connected with through this blog, the Runner's World article, my running club, etc. I have gotten so much inspiration from other runners who have shared their stories with me, and to those of you who comment regularly and/or have emailed me, I truly, truly appreciate it.
I will be running for all of the people out there who are just starting out on their running journey or are struggling. I will be running to show you that you CAN find the time to get your running in, you CAN lose weight, you CAN change your self-image, you CAN get faster, and you CAN achieve much, much more than you think you can.
And finally, I will be running for me. I will be racing because I love it. I will be running to celebrate over 75lbs lost, and an athlete found inside myself. I will be running to honor the fact that in less than three years I will have gone from not being able to run even two miles, to (hopefully!) running a sub 3:15 Boston Marathon. I will be running to show myself that I am strong, I am fast, I am capable, I am tough, I am determined, I am brave, and I am faithful. I will be running to celebrate the results of a whole lot of hard work and training. I will be running to get one step closer to my ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I will be running because I believe it is a gift that God my Heavenly Father has given to me and wants me to use to the best of my abilities. I will be running to show myself that I can achieve my goals and dreams. I will be running because it is a part of who I am and what I love to do.