(WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT PROOFREAD. I AM SUPER DUPER BEHIND IN GETTING READY FOR OUR BOSTON TRIP AND I GOTTA GOOOOOO! IF YOU SEE YOUR NAME HERE: THANK YOU! IF YOU DON'T SEE YOUR NAME HERE: THANK YOU! I AM FEELING THE LOVE FROM SO SO SO MANY! See, Megan R. I just realized I left you out and now it's too late... Sorry already!)
Too little. Too late. But here's a long overdue acknowledgement of some of the people who have gotten me Monday's starting line.
26. Senator Birch Bayh. And all the other voices behind Title IX, which was passed two years before I was born.
25. The coaches of Owego Scamps Gymnastics. Holly, Terry, Annie, Todd, Rich, Dave.... I know I am forgetting a bunch. But at the age of 5, I started gymnastics and therefore easily claimed the title of Athlete without any reservation. (Took me years to understand that claiming that title was difficult for some women. Huh). I also learned early how to push myself and to be tougher than I want to be. Well, a little. I'm no Nadia....
24. Cyndy Hynes, Tony Bonilla, Kay Kushner. These were my volleyball coaches. I started playing in 7th grade and kept it up through my Freshman year in college. I was not particularly talented but found some success because of these coaches... and I happened to have fantastic teammates.
23. Julie Czerenda, Mickey Herzing, Coach VanDuzer. These were my track coaches from 7th - 11th grade. I had just enough speed and toughness to be almost OK in some races. They were patient with my adolescent drama and pushed me to keep coming back for more.
22. Lauren Jordy. My track coach senior year of high school. She gets her own billing because she was for SURE the reason I started running farther than, oh, 2 miles at a time. She had run Boston. She was wicked smaht. She thought I was pretty smaht, too, and thought if I got my head out of my own ass I could run a little faster and a LOT further. (She was smaht enough not to phrase it that way, blessedly). My roots of athleticism go back to age 5, but my roots of true running are planted right there with Lauren in the spring of 1992.
21. Allison Punger, Shannon Legge, Jodi Riggs, Katherine Ward, Sarah Centeno... and so many others. I am using these ladies' maiden names because these are the GIRLS I was with that senior year when running started to mean something to me. We ran relays together. We ran hills together (sometimes with lightning strikes for added 'zap'!). We ran to the ice cream store together.... I carry them in my heart when I run, too, and their presence makes me lighter. (P.S. Shannon is now Shannon Prasarn and GREAT GATSBY if she isn't the most rockin' fitness model you ever saw. Seriously. She could totally kick your ass. Thankfully she only uses her power for good.... as far as my FB intel can surmise...)
20. Kim Swartz. So Kim was Kim Atkins in high school and we played volleyball together. But I use her married name here because now she helps inspire me as a runner. She has done a few 1/2 marathons and I love watching her progress. I always feel very supported by her, even though we live far apart. Her daughters (one of whom is named Phoebe! awwww!) sent me cards and bracelets when I first got injured. Just too kind.
19. Mickey Mouse. After the race, we have to head back to real life for 4 days but then on Saturday we are heading to Disney World for a vacation with my in-laws. I would be lying if I said the idea of chilling in a Disney resort was not very appealing.
18. Jane and Eric Giessler. #20 would not be possible without the generosity of my father- and mother-in-law. They live far enough away to miss the kids a whole lot most of the year so we all benefit from their generosity. They are also very interested and supportive of my running and are always willing to watch the boys so running can happen when we are all together.
17. Polly. I qualified just after she past away. Every run, Every race. She's in there. Pink is the color for Monday.
16. Twitter followers. I love the #BQchat. I love the links to other people's thoughts and experiences on this crazy running world. Tweets are just sweet because runners don't throw shade at other runners.
15. Facebook friends. Oh. My. Suppportness! I am so feeling the love from my people, virtual and otherwise. I can't say enough how much it means to see the "likes" and the comments.
14. Kathleen. One of my dearest friends and one of the toughest people I know. She would not consider herself a runner, though she has donned a race bib at least once. She was going to be my 1/2 way point in my ill fated 40 mile run. Work responsibilities won't allow her to be at the race on Monday but I know she truly wants to be there. She's just the best.
13. Dimity McDowell Davis. One of "the" mothers of Another Mother Runner. She is 50% of the team that made me fall back in love with running after having kids. The books. The website. The FB page. The events. The honesty.
12. Sarah Bowen Shea. The other 50% of #13. I could put these ladies in the same line but their import to so immense that they deserve their own shouts out. And Sarah is a BQ badass who is foolish enough to think I'm funny and include me in some of the reindeer games whenever possible. xoxo, Champy!
11. Carol Viens. She's a runner and a coworker. She coordinated a huge to do at school for me yesterday. She leads a school running program for the 4-6th graders. She calls me her hero, which is insane. (Her REAL hero is Joan Benoit Samuelson but she says my name in the same sentence, so that's cool).
10. Heather. My sister. She's not a runner. She is "merely" awesome and supportive and hilarious and fierce and kind and honest (whoa, can she be honest!) and I just love her.
9. Heidi. Another sister. See #10 but she really IS a runner (not that she'll admit it) and a track/xc coach. Our scant 15 months age difference made us best friends and worst enemies when we were growing up. What I wouldn't give to live close enough to love/hate her in person every day!
8. Dr. Hennig. He was my knee surgeon. He put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I owe him a finish line photo.
7. Kevin Stanton. My PT. Oh. My. God. Dr. Hennig maybe sewed things together, but THIS is the guys who kept it all rolling. Runner. Triathlete. Neighbor. He understands, literally, where I live, what I want out of running, and exactly how to get me there. I am happy to say I have not needed to make an appointment with him in quite a few months. (Knock wood).
6. Tom. My 11-on-Sunday-year-old. Maybe had I not run my first marathon a teeny bit pregnant with him and maybe had he not been born on marathon Monday 2004... maybe I would not be so committed to this crazy scheme. He got an awesome new video camera for his birthday so watch for him on YouTube. (And let me know if you see anything untoward!)
5. Elliott. He's 8. He is ready for the youth track and field program this spring. He walks on my back and helps me stretch. He is incurably lovable. Also, he is pocket-sized, which adds to the sweetness.
4. Gabriel. He was 3 on April 14. He is the most demanding AND most loving creature in my life. And, he is potty trained so the whole Boston trip is going to be a LOT less stressful thanks to that!
3. Dad. Boy, what he's been through the last year or so. How many shoulder surgeries? Hip replacement. But he's coming to Boston, baby! Word is he is feeling so very much better and is ready to rock the urban scene. Wit. Insight. And just enough profanity to catch you off guard. Too bad he is not a runner cuz those are the perfect traits in a running buddy!
2. Mom. It all started with her, literally. She will be there for this race, as she has been for so many. I've never doubted my mom's pride in me. She shows up. She brings chocolate. And wine. She massages calves and shoulders and opens Advil bottles. I'm sorry for you that she's not your mom.
1. Lauren Cady. My running partner in this race. She lead me to my BQ Fall 2013 and so much more! I am so incredibly lucky and happy and EXCITED to share this weekend with her. This is like her 600th Boston run (or maybe like 5th or 6th?) and I know she will remind me to hold back hold back hold back hold back on the first 20 miles. And I know she will remind me to hit the gas to get over Heartbreak Hill. And I know we will cross that finish line in our own personal triumphant victory.
.2 Scott. My Boston medal will be his Boston medal. Literally. He doesn't know it but I am giving it to him. And he never reads my blog so it will still be a surprise. The day of my ACL repair last year he created a countdown-to-Boston on our bedroom wall. (400 days). He seems to always know the exact amount of ass I need kicked v. the nurtured reassurance and encouragement. I cannot express how much this race is his race.