It’s the night before the Gate River Run 15k, and I should be turning off the computer and trying to fall asleep. I can feel adrenaline flowing through my body though, so I hope by writing it wil relax me enough to knock me out for 7 good hours of sleep.
I’ve had tomorrow’s race circled on my calendar since I first thought about taking up running, back in August. It’s the biggest race in Jacksonville every year (15,000 runners in the 15k) and I’ve come to realize if you’re a runner in Jax, people don’t ask if you’ve run the River Run – they ask how many you’ve finished.
My friend (and roommate) Stacey wrote this really cool note about why she’s running the Gate, and it inspired me to make one of my own. So here’s 9 or so reasons I’ll be thinking of every step of the way.
Mile 1 – I’m taking this one for me. For setting a new challenge in front of me, something I had never thought about seriously doing (or enjoying), sticking to the training (mostly) and accomplishing a big part of my goal. I intend to continue finding challenges and working towards accomplishing throughout my lifetime. Running is really good practice.
Mile 2 – This one’s for Raechel, my best friend, confidant and my favorite runner! Last year, we were supposed to run the Shamrock Run 5k together and I bailed on her, having just flown back from a job interview in Jax, feeling under the weather and frightened of running in a real race with lots of people. Rae was the first one I’d text or call when I finished a step in training (2 miles today! 5K! 6 miles!) and she always encouraged me. I can’t thank her enough for her support and all-around incredibleness. I can’t wait until we run a race TOGETHER! (PS: She’s running a half marathon next month with Team in Training. You can read about it and cheer her on here.)
Mile 3 – For my Mom, who told me the other day that me running was “so cool because its so unlike you.” LOL, I can’t argue with that because she’s kinda right. To think that I’m going to do a 15K and a half marathon before my Mom does is a little unreal, since she’s a workout machine. Tomorrow I’ll definitely be thinking about that one time we worked out together, where she kicked my ass and I was too intimidated to go with her again for 2 years. Love you Momma!!
Mile 4 – Here’s to you Dad, who told me one of the last times I was home, that I couldn’t run that far. (Garrett is my witness) You were kidding a little, but I know you’ll be proud when I call and tell you I finished 9 miles.
Mile 5 – For Stacey, who has been a great friend, roommate and teammate since I met you last summer. Good luck in the race, even though I really want to beat you! 🙂
Mile 6 – Running this one for Laura, who I met right after she finished her first half marathon. Remember that conversation I had with you Labor Day weekend (you were getting ready for Anna’s wedding so probably not) and I told you, I’m going to run a half marathon? That got you really excited and you gave me all sorts of good advice about workouts, training and nutrition. We need to re-do that conversation now that I’m 5 weeks from a real half marathon.
Mile 7 – This one is for my brother Adam. Because after you start running 7 miles at a time, you can’t be called “fatty” anymore…even by your little brother (who could probably benefit from more soccer or running himself). Come down here and we’ll compare beach bods.
Mile 8 – A big thanks in this mile to all my Brass peeps and Corvallis friends. Laura E., Sarah, Bryan, Tom, Zack, Steve, Eric – who all were training for some marathon, half marathon, triatholon while I knew and worked with you. I used to think you were crazy. Actually, I still do but more in an admiring way. To Ethan, who told me running more than 2 miles ever was stupid (you’re right). And to Brady, who founded Corn Dog Day many years ago – I’m celebrating my running achievements with a few corndogs at next week’s party.
Mile 9 – I started running as a way of distraction when Garrett left for 2 months on his ship, so its no surprise that I chose this mile specifically for him. This is the mile with the really big bridge that you have to run up and over before you see the finish line. Your words “just keep swimming” will get me up that hill and down the other side. It’s kinda like the hill we’re climbing right now…no matter how steep or long it might seem now, soon we’ll only have the downhill part left. And when we get to that finish line, I’ll be there waiting for you (with Starbucks in hand).
Last .3 miles – This little part is for my virtual running buddy, Kait, who I’ll actually get to meet at the Country Music (Half) Marathon next month. Nashville, here we come!!!
You can follow along on www.jacksonville.com tomorrow for race results and information. I expect to finish right around 10AM, so check it out when you west coasters wake up tomorrow. I’ll also post something on Twitter, Facebook and eventually here to let you know I survived!
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