October 15, 2013

Journey to 26.2: My Pit Crew (014)

It really does take a village to run a marathon.  I'm reminded of this over and over...from the friends who send me words of encouragement, to the little packages with fuel that Mom sends to the random strangers who smile and wave at my while I'm on a long run.  They all give me a nice boost for my next workout, regardless of when or what it may be.

Throughout my training, I've hit my mileage, with near military precision.  There haven't been many runs that I've missed and when I have, I have managed to find a way to get back on track and "make up" the mileage somehow.  I've said it before and I will say it again - I've been in robot mode for much of the training.  As I'm now in taper mode, I can most definitely say that I wasn't prepared for the emotional roller coaster this might entail.  My thoughts constantly drift to the race, to my training and to everything surrounding it.  I'm working very, very hard to stay calm and keep reaffirming that my training will pay off and that I am ready.

While I was working out yesterday, I started putting together a mental list of sorts of all of my awesome friends and family who have helped me get to taper town and especially a few who will see me through marathon day!  I started thinking about them as my metaphorical pit crew...those that will help you get through any challenge that race day presents.

Katie, the enabler: My friend Katie was my ultimate enabler.  She was the one who actually registered me on March 27th after I gave up with the registration day challenges.  She has been a fantastic cheerleader and I am looking forward to sharing my first marathon with one of my first running friends!

The cheerleaders: There have been so many people - coworkers, friends, Twitter buds, Facebook friends, etc. that have been encouraging.  Many don't know a THING about running but they've been important all the same.

Danielle, the race buddy: At Disneyland Half weekend, I was fortunate enough to FINALLY meet Danielle and as I predicted, we were fast friends.  Fast forward a few weeks and after sharing many training stories, we decided we would run the race together.  When I read her email about it, I actually squealed!  I'm so excited to have a buddy, even if we end up splitting up mid-race.  She's also been an unbelievable supporter and has shared some of her first marathon freak outs...guess I'm not alone here!

The support staff: From my friend Kira who left water in her mailbox to Patrick driving me home from the gym after 17 miles and the corresponding jell-o legs, there have been plenty of folks that have helped me get here.  Heck, I should add the guy at Running Etc. who convinced me to go up a size in shoes and I haven't had toe blisters since!  Amazing how small gestures become so meaningful when you push your mind and body to the limit on a regular basis during training.

Lisa, the realist: Another amazing girl that I finally met at Disneyland Half was Lisa....similar story with Danielle - we were fast friends and bonded over running, blogging and life.  We've shared countless text conversations mid-long run.  Most were whiny and complaining about how we felt, the weather, lack of interest in running, etc.  Sometimes it's helpful to have someone with whom you can just be honest.  She's also embarking on her first 26.2 at Marine Corps and I can't wait to share this with her!

The training buddies: As I embarked on every run, there were countless folks in support.  I shared training runs, virtual updates, race days and everything in between.  I'm grateful to so many of you - Heather, Megan, Krissy, Maggie, Allie, Marcia, Kat, Jen (x2), and a gazillion other people.

Susan, the hostess: I'm staying with some of my dearest friends while I'm up in DC.  They are unbelievably gracious to let me and my marathon crazy self crash at their place for a few days.  Susan has been an unbelievable cheerleader throughout my training and has promised to cheer on the course during the race - incredibly.  She gets my "crazy face" as we are very similar personality-wise...she often reminds me that we're cut from the same cloth and I'm forever appreciative of her support.  A few years back, she completed a sprint triathlon, looking mighty fashionable along the way!  Somehow, I don't think I'll look quite as polished after 26.2 miles!

The Mom: There's no metaphor here, folks.  My Mom has been amazingly supportive and seems to know when tough love is required.  From anyone else, I would be annoyed but there were days I needed it.  She has been the best training partner a girl could have.

This was basically my Oscar acceptance speech.  Cue music...



  1. I'm so excited for you Christine!!! I've enjoyed your journey...you inspire me. I can't wait to hear about your race in a few weeks!!! You have trained so hard....stayed so dedicated....This is YOUR time!!! (((Hugs)))

  2. Aw, thank you so much for the shout out! I remember the emotional roller coaster that training for my first marathon was and how much it meant to be able to talk to others that had been through it. Even now when I start to doubt my training for this race I go back and read some of my blog posts from the weeks leading up to my first full and it helps me realize that I'm ready and I'll be fine just like I was the last two times! It's actually one of the reasons I really love having the blog!

    It's been a pleasure being a part of your "pit crew" and I'm looking forward to our race day experience, whatever it may end up being! Now if we could just figure out what the weather is going to be so we can start packing! : )

    Can't wait to see you in DC!

  3. Reading your journey (as well as others) is definitely helping me to conquer my fear of the dreaded full marathon. You have got amazing dedication and you'll do fantastic in this race! I can only hope to have a pit crew as awesome as yours! :)

  4. So cool that you have so much support whil embarking on this journey! I am so excited for you and am looking foward to hearing all about you competing this race!

  5. Okay, I admit it. This has me all sappy:). As I sit here bouncing the idea around in my race-obsessed brain cells of actually checking "finishing a full marathon" off my bucket list, I find that it keeps moving closer to the top, thanks to your journey. Keep up the amazing work chica, and know your journey is inspiring others! I'll have my fingers crossed for you on race day and can't wait to hear every gory detail! :)


  6. :) You're an inspiration my friend!! I would be up there cheering you, Maggie and Kathleen on if I could - but Josh is up for an award at our military ball the night before the race - so I need to be the good Navy wife to be there for him. I'll be following diligently online!! hugs!!

  7. You will do great, and it seems like you have an amazing support group!

    Your journey is definitely inspiring. I'm running my first half marathon this weekend, and I think it is finally becoming real, which is making me start to get a little nervous. I know I can do it because I've completed the distance twice while training, but it doesn't stop the butterflies from going crazy in my stomach when I think about it. :)

    1. Good luck Kira and please let us know how your race goes. We will be rooting for you from afar!

  8. I could not have done this without you! Thanks for the shout out. And, I hope we have cell service in case we need to text each other for support come race day (if there is a race day... but that's a whole other can of worms!).