First and foremost, thank you to everyone who purchased a Thanksgiving dessert package. Kristen and I made a lot of baked goods this past week, raising a total of $490 for my run with the DFMC team. These purchases, along with the many other generous donations I've already received in my first two weeks of fundraising, have resulted in $1500 towards my goal of $6500. If you have yet to sponsor me, and would like to, please make an online gift or mail me a check made out to Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. And be sure to stay tuned for details on our next batch of holiday dessert packages!
Thanksgiving usually makes me think about family - this is probably true for most people. I'm geographically removed from my own family and haven't been able to spend a single Thanksgiving with them in 11 years. But I've fortunately always had a great group of people welcoming me into their homes. A year ago, I spent the first of what will be many with Kristen's family, for instance. This came towards the end of a long year in which I got divorced, changed jobs, lost and made some friends, started dating Kristen, and ran a lot. And only a week before Thanksgiving, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon.
I'm not sure who put the idea in my head, but in each of the last 6 miles of that race, I focused on someone special in my life, all of whom provided me with an incredible amount of support and love when I needed it most:
Mile 21: My friend, Maia, who was at the time in the hospital dealing with a health scare (and who I recently learned may be a "3rd-to-distant cousin" of mine, based on our 23andMe genetic profiles!)
Mile 22: My brother, Eric, who was always willing to listen
Mile 23: My dad, who always knew what to say
Mile 24: My mom, who always knew how to make me feel loved
Mile 25: Kristen, who already felt like family, and who was waiting for me at the finish line with a hug and a tear in her eye
Mile 26.2: Me, because I worked hard to be there and deserved to enjoy crossing the finish line
A year later, I'm once again taking time out of my busy days to reflect on the amazing people I've had the privilege of knowing over the course of my lifetime, and hoping they are all doing well. Family, I suppose, is where you find it, and I feel incredibly lucky to have so many people falling into that category.
In 5 months I'll be running another marathon, and rest assured I'll once again be concentrating on a few people in my last few miles. Who will it be? I'm not 100% sure yet. When I applied for DFMC, I noted the character and integrity that my grandfather seemed to embody-- so, while I'm out logging my miles this winter, I'll be thinking about the people in my life who inspire me in that regard.
Oh, and since people are asking - I haven't been running all that much (too busy with bootcamp, basketball, and baking), but I did just run 7 miles at a 7:33 avg pace. I suppose I'm feeling pretty good at this point.