Before I head out of town for the big race, I'd like to take a few moments to extend some "thank yous"; certainly, this path to the marathon would not be possible without the support of many people, so:
Thank you, first and foremost, to my husband, who will accompany me to the race and who will be waiting at the finish line. His patience and encouragement with this marathon has been invaluable. I certainly have been a pain to deal with as of late -- I've had one thing, and one thing only, on my mind -- yet, he's been understanding of my distraction. Thanks hon!
Secondly, I'd like to thank all my friends -- here in FL and in MN. You guys have all been more interested in this running than any good friend should have to pretend to be, and I appreciate it. Despite the fact that we could all talk about more interesting topics, you guys always ask about my long runs and my races and inquire into the health of my knee (or whatever else might be ailing me), and that is really awesome. Thanks.
Next, I'd like to thank my family, who even though they are far away and far apart from one another, always keep me in mind. Yesterday, my stepdad called to ask about my knee "or hip, or whatever it was that was hurting" and to make sure I run safely in Chicago. He tried to encourage me to step out if I start to hurt too bad; "m-hmm" I replied. "Oh well," he concluded, "I know you're a determined sort and won't do it, but your mom and I just want you to be safe." They have my best interests at heart. But he's right, I am the determined sort. So, thanks to the family as well -- all of them.
Lastly, a big thanks to all of you who read this blog and who post valuable insight, advice, encouragement, and smart-alec-remarks. Everyday I look forward to what each and every one of you will say and I always appreciate each comment (as well as your own inspiring blogs); some days, it's what keeps me dedicated to running, and it has certainly helped push me in the training for this race. Seriously, I don't know how many times I had just a singular thought on a difficult run: "I've got to finish this ________miler so I can blog about it for my homies." You guys are the bestest!
Alrighty, that's it for now. Thank you again, and I'll see ya on the other side!