a tribute

When I head to the trails or hit the track each and every week, I am literally surrounded by amazing people who love to run.

People who have become some of my closest friends, through the sport of running.  We all have different paces and different goals that are unique to us as individuals, but we stand united in our support and encouragement of one another.  We all believe in one another and we fight for one another.

Many of us have been working hard all winter long in preparation for this Saturday’s races (the half and the full).  I have watched as each one of us strives to get stronger, to battle our weaknesses and self doubt, to overcome obstacles that life has thrown our way.  It has been an incredible journey and a beautiful thing to be a part of.

So, this post is a tribute to each of my amazing friends who are running this weekend.  I respect and admire every single one of you with all of my heart and I know you are going to rock it this weekend.

You are incredible.  You entered into this training cycle only to discover very early on that you had two healing stress fractures in your shins.  It was tough, but YOU were tougher.  And you were smart.  You listened to your body and honored the necessary recovery. You are made of COURAGE, my friend.  I know you are going to execute your race beautifully on Saturday.  That you will bring your intense sense of self with you as you run, and that your strong spirit and courage will carry you through the toughest moments on Saturday.  You will TRIUMPH.  I just know it.

You just don’t stop amazing me.  Your dedication inspires me every day.  Whether it is in your training, your work or your relationships you are in 110% and I love that about you.  I know you are going to blow this race out of the water.  You will rise above any physical pain and run in the moment, just as you always do.  I am going to think of you as I run my race, and remember that pain is only temporary.  You have taught me that – to just get through the rough spots and ride it out – because I will be on the other side of it soon.  Stronger and happier for having endured it.

Aaah, sister.  You are amazing!  When I think of all you have overcome and accomplished in the past year, I am in awe of you.  I love you more than words can say.  You are one of the most intuitive people I know, and this trait carries through in your running.  You will enjoy every step of the race on Saturday, listening to your body and pushing your limits – discovering all that you are capable of. You will remember to BREATHE and BELIEVE, and you will remind everyone else out there to do the same through your generous and loving spirit.  I love you.

From the first time I ran with you less than a year ago when you were fighting to run a 10 minute pace for a handful of miles, to our last 22 miler with sub-8:00 miles at the finish — you have inspired me and encouraged me to dream and believe every step of the way.  I am so incredibly psyched for your first marathon!  Your passion and love for the sport of running is infectious.  I’m grateful and honored to run with you by my side (or maybe a little in front of me!) on Saturday.  You are an awesome guy and an incredible running buddy.  I’m so proud of how far you have come in such a short time.  Go get it.

If ever there is someone I want on my team, it is you Chuck.  You somehow always make all the hard runs and grueling workouts we do FUN.  Always reminding us of our love for the sport and why we do what we do, you are refreshing to be with.  You make us feel like a team, like we all matter.  This is a powerful thing. You sincerely enjoy and take pride in the accomplishments of others and I hope you know we all feel the same about you.  You’ve worked incredibly hard this training season and I just know you are going to bring it on race day.

Watching you grow as a runner has been so wonderful.  Seeing you out on the trails always makes me happy and turns my mood around when I am in a tough patch.  Your loyalty to the people and things that you care about truly inspires me on so many levels.  I love how you always make your way through obstacles – never giving up.  You make it work because you are not a quitter.  You are going to have an amazing race on Saturday — I just know it!!

John & Scott.
It has been so much fun getting to know you guys and watching you as runners this season.  You drive one another to do your best and (though it is a little insane at times!) I think it’s going to be a good thing for both of you on race day.  You’re both so strong and speedy and I know you will rock the race on Saturday.  There will be good reason to celebrate at that finish line — for both of you.

Sister, you have worked so hard and it is paying off!!  I have always admired your strong will and determination.  The fact that when you get knocked down, you just pick yourself right back up.  You are going to get that sub-2 half on Saturday.  It is going to be your day!  NOTHING is going to stop you!!!  I am so proud of you — and I believe in you with all of my heart.

There is not a single doubt in my head that you are going to dominate your race on Saturday.  All season long I’ve watched you persevere and keep on fighting – I’ve loved the look in your eyes after every successful long run and PR you have completed over these past few months.  You have not only become a stronger runner, but you have also begun to believe in yourself as a runner on a whole new level.  It is so inspiring and so much fun to witness!  I can’t wait to hear about your race on Saturday!

I am always amazed at how you juggle so many priorities in life.  As a mother, a wife, an employee and a friend (to many) you somehow manage to give everyTHING and everyONE your all. And you do so with grace, gratitude, focus and SO. MUCH. HEART.  It makes me so happy to see you out on the trails, carving time for yourself and doing something that you love.  I know that great things are in store for you on Saturday and I cannot wait to see you smash your goals.

I am ridiculously proud of and thankful for each one of you.  Your friendships – in running and in life – mean so much to me.  I do not know a more dedicated, fun, passionate or hard working group of runners.  Saturday will be our day.  Let’s go get it!

12 thoughts on “a tribute

  1. What a great post! You took the words right out of everyone's mouth. We have a great running group and I am so glad I have these people in my life as well, you are all amazing!

  2. I love this post! Reminds me so much of my group and has inspired me to perhaps do similar. Good luck to you all!

    I will be working the Brooks booth on Thurs. from 11:30-2:30 if you'll be there then–would love to meet!

  3. Jess, you are amazing and so giving. You will have an amazing race because you are more than ready. All of us are inspired by your tenacity and your natural talent. We love you!

  4. You don't know me..but as Brooke's mother I want to thank you for these words of encouragement to each of these runner's who have worked unrelentlessly toward their individual goals!! Good Luck to each of you…Run Hard..do it for no one but yourself

  5. Wish I could be there to watch the race in person, but I can't wait for all of you to crush it. You have all put in a ton of hard work and I am so excited to see it pay off on race day.

    See you at the track?

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