I would just like to take a minute and a few words to recognize those who's support was critical in the successful completion of my first marathon. If you have never known someone training to race a marathon then you might not understand just what a huge commitment it is and how it becomes a part of every aspect of that person's life. I wasn't training to "finish" a marathon. I was preparing to race a marathon and while there is nothing wrong with "finishing" as you can imagine racing that distance demands much more in the way of daily training. During my training cycle I ran an average of 10 miles a day and near the peak of my training it wasn't unusual to run 14 on Monday, 18 - 20 on Wednesday, and 12 or 13 on Friday while still running 6-8 on the other days.
This demanding schedule left me fatigued and hungry. Two things that make me a "bear" to be around. So I would like to thank people who put up with me on a daily basis; my family, my boss and my coworkers. I am truly blessed to have been surrounded by so many understanding people who at the end of it still wished me well.
Three people that I want to thank specifically are my wife and daughters; Mary, Kasey, and Hannah. To my wife, I know I have been tired and grumpy and you put up with me anyway. Before my first 20 mile run I was so scared that I nearly quit. You could have let me but you didn't. Instead you encouraged me and gave me the push I needed to get past what was a humongous mental barrier at the time. You gave up valuable study time and valuable down time to come support me in the "tune up" races that I ran and you can have no idea what seeing you on the course does for me. You have listened to me yammer on endlessly about running, nutrition, training philosophies, etc, etc. All of that and you are still here. All of that and I could see the genuine excitement and pride in the glow of your smile when we met at mile 23 of the race. I think that I will never forget that look.
To my oldest daughter Kasey, you are now the official race photographer for the family (unless you are running too of course). I love the pictures that you got during the race. I know you had a million other things you could have done last Friday and Saturday but instead you came to cheer me on. I will never forget that. I appreciate the advice you gave me on nutrition and your concern for how I ran the race didn't fall on deaf ears. That honest assessment will serve me well in the years, training cycles, and races to come.
To my youngest daughter Hannah. You have been my greatest and most vocal supporter throughout this whole thing. I set crazy goals and at times I know you are the only one who believed with all of their heart that I could actually attain them. Your belief in me pushed me harder than I could have pushed myself in training. I didn't matter what anyone else said or thought and even when I said I couldn't do it you were right there with unwavering support and encouragement.
I have learned a lot during this training cycle but I think the most important thing that I have learned is what great people I am surrounded by. A humongous "thank you" to all for the support and encouragement that I received.