Mile Fourteen Dedication: Stephanie

With many of my dedications, I started just making a list of who I wanted to mention and plugged them into a post. This one, though, is rather particular.

You see, Steph was the first and is to date the only person who has ever run fourteen miles with me.

Quite honestly, I would not be where I am, would not have been where I’ve been, nor would I be the runner I am today had it not been for Steph. She was part of the group that got me across my first half marathon finish line, and beyond that was the one who said at the same time I did, “Hey, we could do a full.”

She’s also the one who learned with me just how much of a horrible idea running a full marathon on zero training is. Seriously awful, bad, no good idea. Don’t do it.

Our running lives have taken us in some vastly different directions (hers through another marathon, mine through a Tough Mudder), but there’s always been that common theme of being a runner.

After Tough Mudder when it was time for me to refocus on running in just running races, she welcomed me back into the fold. And in just a couple months (or, you know, seven-ish weeks from now) we’ll be back on the same course, shooting for a repeat yet improved performance during the GO! St Louis half marathon, our very first race we ever ran together.

I’m sure I won’t be the only one there who will be excited for the mile nine beers.

Steph, mile fourteen is for you. See you soon.

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Mile Thirteen Dedication: Heather

Let me tell you about my friend Heather.

Quite a few people have called her my brain twin, and it isn’t abnormal for one of us to say, “Yeah, what she said.” I like that about her.

Heather is someone that I email with daily, along with my Calgary running buddy Angela. Sometimes, obviously, the topic turns to running and specifics about races. And you know what? It doesn’t make Heather go crazy! She loves us nonetheless.

I am thrilled that she is one of my friends, and I can’t wait until I’m able to give her hugs again.

Heather, mile thirteen is for you.

Mile Twelve Dedication: Orlando Girls

Mile twelve is for the lovely group of ladies who are making the trek to OOORRRRLAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDOOOOOOOOOOOOOO with me. Everyone is coming from various locations around North America, from Pennsylvania to Calgary, from Ohio to British Columbia, and my own STL to Jacksonville, (and one in Virginia who will have to miss this trip, and that sucks a lot) we’re all taking on these races with the same mentality.

Have fun.

The last few weeks months have been filled with plans and laughs and funny memes. Planning our outfits (tutus) and picking Princesses (I’m Merida) and deciding whether we want to get queso and burritos twice or three times.

I’m very fortunate to know these ladies, to have them to vent to when winter JUST WON’T STOP and have them know exactly just how much I’m looking forward to getting to Florida for a few days.

My fellow princesses are going to make this trip, these races, one (two) for the books. I absolutely cannot wait.

Brave-Merida-Wallpaper

Mile Eleven Dedication: Family

Let me just tell you that my family is awesome. Of course, They’re not perfect, but awesome? They’re definitely awesome.

For instance, my aunt Julie decided a few years ago that she was going to run an Iron Man. So she started training. She completed her first half Iron Man in October. Last month she PRed her 10k in 51:45. She’s got a half marathon in four days that I’m sure she’s absolutely going to rock. She’s an incredible motivation to me.

As is my aunt Melissa. While raising six (!!!) kids and going to nursing school, she took time out of her schedule to come run Tough Mudder with me.

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She and I have talked about putting together a family Ragnar as well as hitting up another race or two around the country.

My aunt Rachel has run multiple marathons and is someone I am dying to run a half marathon with.

I have uncles who have completed P90X, aunts and uncles who spend their time hiking and playing other sports, and a whole generation of cousins who are such phenomenal athletes that it’s awe-inspiring to watch (for example, the opposing team’s wide receiver who stopped dead in his tracks and stepped out of bounds once he noticed my cousin was charging towards him).

The last time I saw the majority of my mom’s side of the family we played volleyball and ultimate frizbee and went hiking and didn’t stop moving because why would we?

I love having a family who will encourage me in whatever I attempt, no matter how ridiculous it may seem. Honestly, even if it is ridiculous, there would probably be at least one of them who would volunteer to come do it with me.

Because, like I said, they are awesome. Mile eleven is for them.

Mile Nine Dedication: Friends

This one is for my friends as a group.

The ones who don’t quite get WHY I’m running, but will congratulate me nonetheless.

The ones who’ve gotten used to me showing up to places late and still covered in a layer of sweat.

The ones who agree to one day drive me back to my place if I run to theirs.

They’re the ones who understand if I’m cranky after a bad run or exhausted after plenty of miles. They don’t hold it against me when I skip out of an evening early because of 10 miles on the schedule the next day.

They’ll walk slowly with me when I’m sore and drink a beer with me to celebrate.

My friends aren’t runners, but they’re a damn good support system for the fact that I am.

Mile Eight Dedication: Sarah and Stacey

Every once in a while I get to thinking about the time before I ever ran a half marathon. I swore for ages that I’d run one, and back in 2005 I even trained for a full. But, as novice runners are wont to do, I over-trained and hurt my knee.

There was a long time of “oh yeah, I’ll run one someday” and even more attempts at beginning to train without signing up for a race.

Then the Twitter Machine struck again. Back in 2011 I started talking about running with some lovely ladies, Sarah, Stacey, and Stephanie (who gets her own entry).

We made a deal to run the GO! St Louis half marathon in April of 2012 while still running another in the fall of 2011 to prepare for it. And we did.

There were updates in calendars and conversations via email and an “Ultimate Runner Log 2k11” that was both colorful and snark-filled.

These ladies, and my promise to them, got me through my first half marathon. And my second.

And every race after that.

And these coming races.

I’m lucky enough to be able to have another race planned on Saturday with Sarah (in fact, she’ll be here TONIGHT!!), which will be a true joy as she lives in Boston, and we don’t see one another that often.

I’m lucky enough to have CONSTANT support and commiseration even now from Stacey, even if it is through Twitter or Instagram rather than our training log.

Running buddies are the best buddies, and mile eight is for them.

run friend