I was thinking about something my leader, Melanie recently said. She's run 8 marathons now (preparing for 9 and 10 this year) and she said the first 20 miles she runs are for her. Then to get her through that last 6.2, she dedicates the miles to certain people. I thought what a wonderful idea and a fun way to get through the miles while creating anchors (associating miles with people)!
I started thinking about my own "mile dedications" for the full NYC Marathon and came up with the following idea -- She says her first 20 are for her. But she runs a lot. So I'm breaking mine down differently -- I'm dedicating my first 10 for me. Those are my miles. The next 10 I'm dedicating to all of my supporters - virtual and real life, co-workers and friends and acquaintances who are big supporters - like Mrs Kim!
The last 6.2 miles will be dedicated this way:
Mile 21: For everyone, everywhere, who for whatever reason wants to run but cannot. One of the main things that made me start my journey in 2006 and incorporate exercise (and eventually start running) is appreciation for my body and what it's capable of. I realize how fortunate I am to be able to do those things, so I'm running for everyone who truly can't.
Mile 22: for my Dad, who I know is enormously proud of me but has never seen me run or attended one of my events. I hope he plans to take off November 4th and be there for me! (or else!!)
Mile 23: for my Grandpa Frank (who passed away last year) and my Grandma Margie (who passed in 2008) My Grandpa's genes live on in my photography skills and my Grandma's genes live on in my hourglass shape. They were always proud of me over the littlest things and thought I was beautiful at any size, but they were even more proud of me as I got healthy in their last few years. I'm just sorry they aren't here to see me accomplish something that no one in my family has ever done (or even attempted, as far as I know) - run a full marathon! I like to believe they will be will cheering me on from wherever they are.
Mile 24: for my Great Grandpa Mario. I don't have many memories of him since he died just before I turned 8. But the memories I do have are fantastic and I always say he's my favorite family member ever. Most people never get to know their Great Grandparents so I consider myself very lucky for having him as long as I did. He's been gone for over 30 years but I still think about him, especially when I feel like I'm in danger. I always feel like he is protecting me. And I know he'll be watching and cheering too.
Mile 25: for my friend Rasha - who was killed at the age of 31 while riding her bike home one night in Summer 2008. She was so athletic and in great shape. She saw me as I lost weight when I first started my journey and she was proud of me then. She didn't live to see me become a cyclist or a runner but I know she'd be even more proud now. I think of Rasha whenever I need strength. I relied on her when I completed my first bike tour and I hear her voice whenever I need to push myself a little. She tells me how great I'm doing and tells me to go further, that I can do it. I feel like she's always with me too.
Mile 26 - Mile 26.2: That last bit of run is all for me again. That's when I know the end is within reach. And that's probably when I will start to cry because I will realize I am about to cross the finish line, and soon I will be able to say "I ran the NYC Marathon!!" (Yep, choked up. Right there. I'm crying just thinking about it)
I like being able to have something or someone to think about during each mile, especially when I feel like I need some extra support and motivation.
Thanks for the idea, Melanie!