Tomorrow I'll wake up early for a carb-filled breakfast, stress over something stupid (TBD--could be over socks or an imagined pain or whether to wear shorts or leggings), hop in the car for a ride to Susquehanna State Park, and line up with the goal of completing the HAT 50K trail run. It's going to be a long day of running with plenty of walking on grueling (hopefully not muddy) hills. I will have lots of company along those trails, but this effort is going to be a long internal conversation between me and me.
However, I most certainly didn't get here alone.
Ask anyone who's attempting to achieve a BIG goal, and you'll find that the most successful have a full team of support behind them. Whether your goal is to complete a race, to achieve in your career, to lose weight or to better your diet, even though much of the work is done solo, support or (lack thereof) from teammates, friends and family can put you over the top (or leave you broken at the bottom).
I'm so thankful for all the folks I've run with over the last few months, who've provided good company, inspired me, made me laugh, offered me a hand up when I fell (literally, not figuratively--I fall ALL. THE. TIME) and pushed me past my comfort level to be a better version of me.
Thank you to the AMAZING Charm City Run BelAir trail training group, including coach Darren (2nd from the left on the back row), who's "that's what she said" jokes made freezing cold mornings a little funnier.
Thank you to the No Meat Athlete Baltimore running group, who gave me a reason to get my butt out of bed 1-2 Sundays per month to get in that recovery run with good company (and apologies to everyone who's gotten lost running with me in this group!).
Thanks also go to the free Thursday night running group launching from Charm City Run in Baltimore. Whether I've run with someone or alone, just showing up for these group runs has provided a high level of consistency in my training, and helped me log some speedier miles in lousy weather that will pay off in my training.
And I would be remiss if I didn't thank my family, friends and even my clients who've checked in on my training and supported me with words of kindness. EXTRA props to Mr. Live Full, who's been training alongside me (though a zillion times faster) and putting up with a crabby and tired version of me during tough weeks. Without all this love and support in my corner, there's no way I cold even consider lining up tomorrow.
Here's to being better, stronger and more badass together!