Mile 1 - Lisa Harris & Wendy Sheffield.
To my running buddies I dedicate this first mile. Without either of you I would never have had the thought to do this or the necessary support. Thank you for the crazy stuff you've talked me into and the counseling sessions while we've run. You both are amazing women!Mile 2 - Leslie Clark.
Mile 3 - Josh.
You are my 1st running buddy and I love to think back to those laps around the gym. I may not have walked away from those runs with the strength I have now, but I walked away with a GREAT friendship! BTW - thanks for my AWESOME hat!
Mile 3 is usually where I finally get my breath back and start to settle in. It's the same kind of feeling I had when you finally came into my life. Here's to my 13 year old son!
Mile 4 - Kim Shaw.
I hope to dedicate my whole triathlon experience to Kim coming up in June. But on the off chance that doesn't happen I want to make sure that she is part of this experience. I think of her often and find that her influence continues with me even though she is gone. Kim - I will think a bazillion sarcastic remarks that I would want to share with you while running this mile!
Mile 5 - Friends In the Ninth Ward
Now, this is NOT an attempt to lump everyone into a mile! But it is for quite a few specific people in my neighborhood that make my days worthwhile. This mile is for the women I go to breakfast, lunch, dessert and movies with. The witty friend who makes me laugh, the friend who confides in me, neighborhood coalition friends, DVR sharing friends and stand-in-the-hall and chat friends. By Mile 5 my caffeinated energy gel will be kicking in and I'll be able to think of all of you before the mile ends!! Thanks for your support.
Mile 6 - Ethan.
Ethan, I stuck your mile here in the middle for a reason. As I cross the mid point of my run I want to honor that you are my middle child. Sometimes being in the middle stinks, I know. But for me the middle is a signal that I'm on the home stretch. It means I'm getting closer to where you are waiting for me - the same way I waited for you the day you were born!
Mile 7 - Jacquie, Joy & Jenny
I will pass this mile quickly thinking of all the kindness you have all shown me over the years. You are three of the most thoughtful women I know and I'm luckier than I deserve to be your friend!
Mile 8 - My PTA Friends (Shauna & Sherry).
Really, I just want to spend a desperate mile thinking how the two of you have already loaded up your cups with ice and Diet Coke. I'm loaded up on half an apple and some Gu. But I'm looking towards the finish line now thinking how I want to join you at the Gas N' Sip - I want to kidnap a man from the car wash - I want to sing "Love At Home" - I want a burger from the barn!
Mile 9 - Melanie.
To date, this has been my most challenging mile. I have to turn off the music and start verbalizing, out loud, that I can make it. I will probably be saying the words to myself yet again -- " I can do it, I can make it, keep going." But I'll also be hearing you say them because you have been great at giving me constant encouraging words. I appreciate it, and hope that in your life's mile 9 you can hear me encouraging you.
Mile 10 - Emma.
This is the farthest I have run prior to this race. It's the point at which I start to have a second wind, but my legs are aching and tired. Emma, you came along a little later than I'd hoped. I'm more tired and aching than with the boys. You gave me a second wind when I thought there was none.
Mile 11 - Jeff.
No, I didn't forget you honey. But I saved you to think about during this mile for a reason. They tell me it's the hardest -it's towards the end of the race and is pretty much up-hill. I'll need your help and thoughts now more than ever. You always come through for me when it's the hardest and we've kept plodding along together through many struggles. Thinking of you will get me through this mile and many more to come - I love you!
Mile 12 - Mom & Dad.
I think it's about here that I will really start to see and hear whoever may be left around the finish line. Perhaps people will honk as they drive out of town, having finished the race quite a bit before me. But it's here that I will think of my greatest cheering section -- my mom and dad. Mom always cheered the LOUDEST at my games and it's only recently that I have listened and heard my dad's QUITE praise as well.
Mile 13 -
Will you think me overly mushy and religious if I tell you whom I run this mile for? Can I just not say, because it's too personal - too deeply felt? But please know that I will thank Him for all that I have and all that I can be. I will cry, I will rejoice in this mile and the journey will have been worth it!
SEE YOU AT THE FINISH LINE!