Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I am THANKFUL for...

By: Stacey

Many of you have seen on Facebook and other social media sites people posting daily things they are thankful for during the month of November. So that got us thinking: we are at the tail end of marathon training for St. Jude let's write blogs about how we are thankful for that person who or what got us started in the madness of marathon running!

For me that person is Paige Kimberlin. Back in 2001 at a Sunday School party,  Paige and our friend Rachel were talking about wanting to run a marathon. I was thinking they are crazy there is no way I could run 26 miles! I loved to run but six was considered a long one. I had two small kids, when was I going to train? Train,  that was a foreign word - I never trained for anything. I just ran for the fun of it. What happened to a half marathon? Honestly, at the time, I never knew that was an option. Running that far had never entered my mind - EVER! Before I knew it they had picked the Country Music Marathon in Nashville in April 2002 and we began a training program - Hal Higdon, and I was training for a marathon! (Rachel found out she was pregnant, so it was just Paige and I. Wait, this wasn't even my idea!)

The arrow is pointing to Paige and I am next to her (#7300)

Training was tough at first, I used to always take the winters off. Why in the world would I run in the cold weather that was just crazy and so not fun?! But I survived, actually ran the Germantown Half for the first time because it fell right in line with our training schedule. I remember it being fun but didn't really think of it as a big deal because it was just the long run for that week! (I was such a rookie.)

April came and it was time for the big race! It was an amazing experience. My, how styles have changed...something I am also thankful for! I had never seen so many people, everyone had garbage bags on (what was that all about?), there were so many hills, people were pee-ing behind cars, what was the vaseline for (and where were they putting it), donuts at mile 23... it was crazy!? And I loved it!!! I was hooked. 

So twelve years later, I am still running races and now to me there is no difference between training and running for fun (training is fun). I am thankful for Paige and each person since then who has said to me "Hey, will you run a marathon with me?" I have to say I am thankful for my cheerleader too... my sister! She was at my first marathon and everyone after that, always cheering me on! (That was before she jumped on this crazy train with me!) 

Who are you thankful for? Who did you run your first marathon (half or full) with?

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