Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am thankful for my running partner!

By: Dana 

These days I have much to be thankful for and so many people to thank, but since this blog is about "all things running!", I better stick to that. 

First, I am going to echo what Dawn said in yesterday's post. I am so thankful for my 901 girls and their support and encouragement through my surgery and now my recovery. I've got a long road ahead of me, but I know they will be with me every step of the way. Also, I am so thankful for the running community. The encouragement and well wishes I have gotten has been truly overwhelming. New friendships I've formed, stronger friendships been made, strangers praying for me. Thankful, yes I am! Because of all of you, I don't feel so out of the running loop these days. 

However, there is one 901 girl in particular, that is responsible for the marathon bug that I caught! She has literally been with me every step of the way. When I started running, I told Stacey I wanted to run a half marathon, she said "ok, lets do it." We ran the St. Jude Marathon that December and that was only the beginning for me. I was hooked and as soon as we crossed the finish line, I said what's next! Ok, maybe not as soon as I crossed the finish line, I was a newbie and dying, but soon after that.

St Jude 2010 (my first half)
Since then we have run 6 halfs, 4 marathons and hundreds and hundreds of training miles together. Only one distance race have I not crossed the finish line with her. I was going after a PR and with her encouragement, I pushed myself to get there. I got my PR, yes, but it was not worth finishing without her. She doesn't believe me, it really is true. We've held hands crossing every finish line except that one, and all because of my competitiveness. She has proven to me she would never leave me behind, and I didn't do the same for her.

Last year at the St. Jude marathon, I just didn't have it. I had just done the Bourbon Chase, Chicago full and my body was just tired. At mile 21, I begged her to go on without me. I cried, I cussed, I really wanted her to go on. But, she wouldn't, at one point she sat down on the curb. Once we hit that point, we just cut up and laughed the rest of the time. We may or may not have tried a shot of beer to see if that would fuel me, whatever it took, she wasn't leaving me. We finally made it to the finish line and I have her to thank. I could not have gotten there without her!

Even now she walks with me and reminds me that I will be back at it soon and we will then start planning my next race. During her long runs now I text her to keep going and to "move your booty!" I only wish I could be there for her the way she has for me. My sweet running partner has even joked about pushing me in a stroller at St.Jude. Crazy thing is, if it wasn't against the rules, I know she would! 

So yes, I have one of our very own to thank for giving me the marathon bug and for seeing me through it mile after mile. 


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