October 5, 2011

Pre Chicago Thoughts and Thanks

It's Wednesday evening before Sunday's marathon, and I have a lot on my mind. = Time to blog!

Steve Jobs passed away this afternoon, and facebook has lit up tonight with many RIP comments, but these words have stood out to me for the way I translate them to my desire to run.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,
and the only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work,
And the only way to do great work, is to love what you do.
If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.
Don't settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it,
And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
So keep looking until you find it.
Don't settle.
~Steve Jobs

For anyone who has a desire to run or complete a marathon, this may be well understood. For the rest of you, I'll do my best to explain.

I run for me, but I never settle. Some will call this selfish, but in fact, it's quite the opposite. When I started this journey 18 months ago, I had no idea where I would end up, and to be honest, I'm still not sure where I end up. But I do it for me, and I won't settle. However, this journey has shown me that in the midst of improving my own health, I have somehow inspired a host of other people. Perhaps you are one of them? The simple fact that you are reading this tells me that you've taken an interest in my activity. Why? If you found this blog, it means you are a facebook friend, and the fact that you haven't "blocked" me on facebook says that you can tolerate my many posts about running.

Many of you have already asked me, how did you get started, why did you get started (it's all in this blog by the way), but the simple answer is I did it by taking the first step, and I did it for me. However, the key to the success, goes far beyond me. When I cross the finish line Sunday, I can pat myself on the back because I completed something that no one else can do for me. I did this. I did this on my own, with no one else helping....didn't I?

Yes, I did....but, No, I didn't. I did it with your help. Yes, you! You've taken the time to follow me, to support me, to cheer me, and occasionally to mock me even. But every single comment motivates me. Every single one. Your comment is verification to me that you are aware of what I am doing. If you judge my success based on my time or my placement, then you simply don't get it. But that's okay. Once you take your first step, you will understand. The awareness that I create with my posts provides accountability to me. If I stop posting, won't you ask what I've been doing? If I put the weight back on, would you say something? I hope you would.

To be specific, I have to thank certain groups of people. First off, thank you to my family. Especially my wife, Molly. The countless hours that you allow me to spend on the open road away from my family (even before the sun comes up), is something that I may take for granted. Because you have never questioned me, and because every time I return, you always ask how it went, I know you care and support my efforts. Thank you for allowing the kids to have an active role in my workouts and races. I hope they will develop their own good habits based on what the example we set for them.

Thank you to all the members of YRC, and especially founder and coach Ted. You've done nothing but support me, especially when I was just getting started, and consistently brought up the rear of our long runs. I am proud to where the Yellow YRC shirt Sunday and hope to represent you all well! You inspire me, and because of you, I can say, I am a marathoner!

Thank you to Muncie Multi Sport owner Steve and all their supporting athletes and volunteers. Again, from the very first introduction, the first open water swim practice, the many phone calls asking for advice, and even through my trip to the ER, you've all remained so supportive in my efforts. We have many more miles together. Because of you, I can say, I am a triathlete!

Finally thanks to all my local supporters. From the Yorktown YMCA, to the best running partner I could have ever asked for, Pete. Though I joke about blaming Pete for suckering me into the Chicago marathon, I suppose, I will probably thank him when it's all done. (we'll see)

The hard work is done for this one, there's just one short run in the morning and then nothing but rest and stretching until race morning. Eat well, carb load, and hydrate is the only plan for the rest of the week. All the months, weeks, days, hours and minutes come down to that one unforgettable moment. Crossing the finish line!

So, what about Monday? When I wake up Monday (assuming I can still move), I celebrate the accomplishment, and then I move on to the next goal. I have come to learn that I work best under a plan, so the plan is to race the Muncie Mini on October 29, and then work toward my goal of logging 1000 run miles in 2011. I don't know where it ends, or how it ends, or if it ends. But for now, this is who I am, and I'm thankful to have you in my life to share this with me. Let me know if you need any help with your first step. It's not easy, but it's worth it!

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