It's about time I got my procrastinating butt on here and typed an entry. I could give this whole list of excuses as to why I haven't gotten on here, but none of them would really fly, so I will just say that I am here now, so here I go. I participated in my half marathon on the 30th of October, and boy was it unlike anything I have ever experienced!! I thought all my training runs had given me an idea of what it would be like, but I guess I had no idea! Becky and I rode busses up to the tent at the starting line and waited for an hour and a half in the cold. We peed twice, tried unsuccessfully to take cute pictures of ourselves on our phones, and just chatted and had fun. It was nice to spend that time with my friend. But, as soon as the starting gun went off, we parted ways, Becky zooming ahead as I had expected her to and me trudging along behind. My goal had been to run the whole thing and get in at just under 2:30. I met one of those goals, the most important one: I ran the whole way, never stopping to walk even once. But, I missed my time goal by just a measly three minutes! I was frustrated for a split second, but then it hit me that I had just run a half marathon! Something not many people can say they have done! As is my tradition, I dedicated a mile to very special people in my life, so now starts the novel in which I tell everyone my dedications. I hope you have a while to sit and read!! Here goes:
Mile One: This one is for Pam Hansen. She is a writer and her story of loss in every sense of the word made me want to start running in the first place. She is a wonderful woman and I love her story!
Mile Two: This one is for all my friends who are always encouraging me, especially my "Ant" Cheri. They tell me constantly how great I am doing and how awesome I am looking. It is because of wonderful friends and family that people are able to make it through a day. Ant Cheri, you are and always will be my most favorite aunt in the world. You have always encouraged me as well as any mother could, and I am proud to be your "Button".
Mile Three: This mile is for one friend in particular: Becky Weller. She and I have run many races together, always checking in with each other, sharing our stories of painful muscles, incompetent lungs, horrible-tasting GU and many other runners' laments. Aside from that, she is my "Bestie" and I am grateful for her.
Mile Four: This one is for Jared Parkinson. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have trained nearly as hard, and I wouldn't have lost twenty pounds in two months. You are an amazing person, Jared, and I hope for only the best things to happen in your life.
Mile Five: This one is for Mom and Dad. Mom, you have always wanted your kids to live a better life, always improving and never accepting things just because they were easy. Dad, you always have a wise bit of advice to give, or a listening ear, and I have been so grateful for that in my times of crisis. Both of my parents are amazing and I am so incredibly grateful to have them in my life. Mom, I don't know if you know how badly I want to please you, but I am grateful you have taught me that life isn't about pleasing other people. It's about pleasing you Heavenly Father and yourself. Thanks for lovingly watching me twirl and helping me up when I fell. I love you both.
Mile Six: This one is for Caradon. Of course, it's for Brad and the boys too, but mostly for her. Caradon, you were my first best friend in this world, and you always will be my best friend. I am truly blessed to have had a sister as wonderful as you. I am always amazed at what a patient, unselfish, and loving person you are, and I can only hope and pray to aspire to reach your level of "perfection" someday. If everyone was like you, this world would be a much better place. I love you!
Mile Seven: Samantha, you were my first baby in this world. Even though you were technically Mom's daughter, you were MY baby, and I loved you so much. I still do and I always will. Even if your path in life is quite different than mine, I truly believe we will arrive at the same destination. I am just glad that I have your hand to hold onto when I feel alone or scared or need a really good belly laugh. You are always the person I will turn to for that. I love you more than any other little sister in this world! Tap, tap, tap.
Mile Eight: My Addie. Oh, how I miss you, my little brudder. You will never know how much, and I can't even explain why. You are the one who has encouraged me from the beginning telling me over and over that this is not an impossible task for me! Now, here I am, running a half marathon! I never would have thought that I would be out there doing something like that in a million years, and you will never know how many times your voice or your face has floated into my mind on my long runs, inspiring me to keep running. I love you so much!!
Mile Nine: To my kids. You guys are what keep me going. Whenever I feel like checking out, your sweet little voices and your beautiful laughter fill my ears and my heart overflows with love. Granted, you also provide me with the most trials in my life, but those are what make people stronger. You four are my life and I would be dead without you. I am doing this so I can hopefully be an example to you of a healthy lifestyle and so I can be around for a long time with you. I love you, my sweet babies, more than you will ever know!
Mile Ten: Okay, here come the major waterworks. This mile is for my Papa. I know that even though you aren't here with me physically, Papa, you are there with me on the course. You have been with me through every run I have finished, every triumph I have experienced in my life. I know that you are proud of me. I heard a quote once. It goes like this, "This is for my grandfather, who never, ever could have run a marathon, and who never, ever would have doubted for a moment that I could." This describes my Papa perfectly. He always made me feel like the most important, amazing child in the world. I love you so much, Papa. You are etched into my heart permanently, and when I die, yours will be the first face I fervently search for.
Mile Eleven: Now, I am nearing the end of my journey, so this mile goes to the one who has been my biggest support. Mike, you have always been there for me, even when I don't deserve it. Whether you are texting me on my runs, encouraging me to keep going, or rubbing my feet afterwards after holding my hair back so I could puke! You told me how beautiful I was even when I was at my worst. You have loved me unconditionally since we met, and if it weren't for you, I might be dead right now. Mike, you are my heart. My life has more laughter, more love, and more happiness in it because of you. I love you the most!! =0)
Mile Twelve: Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I cannot count how many times I have come to both of you tears, pleading for help, and always feeling like things were going to be okay once I got up off my knees. My Savior has given the ultimate sacrifice so that I can come back to live with Him and my Father in Heaven again. The least I can do is try my hardest to be a better person for them both. Nothing in my life that has been good has happened without your guiding hand, Father. I know that thou art my strength and my guide--all I have to do is follow.
Mile Thirteen Point One: This mile is for me. Ultimately, I am the one who has put in all the hard work. Even with contracts or encouraging words from friends and family, I could have easily given up a long time ago, but I didn't. I know that I am stronger than I once was and I can only get stronger. Even if I don't make it to the end of this race in less than 2 1/2 hours, at least I will make it to the end. That much I know, because I am a strong, capable, beautiful woman. I can do anything I put my mind to.