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Thank you all

I made it! Can you believe it? 

I'm just hours away from the starting line of the race, but I'm 16 weeks out from the starting line of this journey.

I needed to type out some thank yous before race day. Because this race isn't just for me, and I couldn't have gotten to this point alone.

First, to my husband. I know when I first started talking about wanting to run a half marathon, you thought I was crazy. Even on the day I registered, I could tell in your voice that you thought I just threw away a chunk of cash. Thankfully, that just motivated me to prove you wrong. It worked.

After about a month, I think you realized I was sticking with my training plan and nothing was going to stop me. Thank you for helping me find the time to run, letting me buy a ton of clothes and gear, and for tagging along with the bike and trailer so we could make my long runs a family affair. And when you could tell I needed a boost, thank you for your encouraging words — or for just pushing me out the door when I needed a kick in the butt.

Watching you on your own running journey also makes me so proud, and one of the highlights of my training was crossing the finish line of your first 5K together. And then you decided you weren't done. We're gonna take it up another mile for the Ohio State 4-miler next month, and I am so excited to race with you again. Running, walking or dancing, you are my training partner for life.

Next, to my daughter. You're only 2, so you obviously can't read this yet, but someday I want you to know how much you inspired me. Just the thought of wanting to be a good example for you kept me going. And on the stroller runs we did together, your shouts of "Go, momma, go!" gave me strength. Some people probably think I'm crazy for bringing you along on this race trip, but I know when I see you and daddy on the side of the road it will push me to the finish line.

To my teammates running tomorrow — Jan, Scott and Danielle — thank you for joining me on this journey, even if I pressured you all into it against your better judgement. Knowing I wasn't alone motivated me so much, and I am glad to know I'll have family and friends with me along the course. We got this!

To my coworkers at The Bryan Times, thank you for not complaining when I took a "runch" break and came back sweaty and gross on a Sunday or Monday evening. Or for letting me ramble on about running even when you didn't care. Or for looking the other way when I came in late because I needed to squeeze in extra miles before I left home.

To all my other friends and family — every little "I'm proud of you" or "You're inspiring" or "Good luck" has meant the world to me, in person and online. In my mind, every encouraging word has been banked in a little vault, to be unleashed along the course when I need it most. I realize this blog or my constant posts about training were probably annoying to some, but the accountability of so many people watching my progress was possibly the biggest motivator of all. And hearing so many people started running because of me? Well, I knew I couldn't let you down.

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for taking this journey with me. Even though the race itself is my goal, those 13.1 miles mean NOTHING compared to the miles I logged over the 16 weeks of training. They mean NOTHING compared to the feeling of hitting new distances, new mile times and new discoveries of what I'm really made of. And they mean NOTHING without all of you in my life.


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