Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My Family Fan Club

I just wanted to journal about the people that have made this marathon training so enjoyable for me. I can’t say that I’m one of those folks that have a marathon as one of those things that I have to do “once in my lifetime”… (Maybe I’ll feel that way after the race!!!!). I love to run, and it helps me with so many things in my life. But I think for some people who train for a marathon, it is just so much of a hassle to make the time to train for the race, with all the other responsibilities of work, family and friends who don’t support them in their goals, etc. For me, I don’t have that problem. I know some runners say that their spouses give them a hard time about running, and that they always feel discouraged because so many people are telling them it’s such a “stupid” thing to do. I am so lucky that my # 1 fan is my wife and best friend, Kerry. She gives me so much support and encouragement, and pushes me to always fulfill any dream that I have. Honestly, I personally think she would rather me not run the marathon, more for safety concerns….like when she heard that the marathoner in Chicago suddenly died on the course, and an elite marathoner died a few months ago in the Olympic Trials in New York…those things didn’t sit to well with her. She didn’t tell me not to run, she just expressed her concern that she didn’t want to lose me… But every single time that I come back from a run, she is usually waking up, and she always tells me how proud she is of my dedication to making myself so much fitter and healthier over the past 1 ½ years. Telling someone one or two times is enough of a compliment, but imagine… every single time!!!! You want to hear something else? After every long run on the weekend, she makes me an omelet to help in refueling me…by time I shower up and come out to the kitchen…. The plate is ready… Unbelievable!!! It’s not like she is a runner …. She just loves me so much, and realizes how much this means to me, that she is willing to do anything to help me become better and more successful at anything I strive to do…in other words, she is the perfect wife, my best friend, and my biggest supporter. Before my first 5k about 2 years ago, she said to me, “Babe, do you think you can win it?” I think I placed 2,000th or so…. but that is what she thinks of me… she always thinks I can be the best at everything, and she helps my confidence so much……aside from the Jesus Christ, she is the biggest reason for helping me achieve all of my goals…including attempting to complete the Disney Marathon. Kerry, I love you so much… you just don’t even know how much I love you, and I swear that when I see you on the course on Sunday, I don’t care how focused I am on running, I will stop and smack a big kiss on you!!! My sweet little girl, Adryana, is a fan just like her mommy…every morning, if I am at home, she says, “Daddy, you going to run today?” And if she is outside in the yard, she will say to me, “Daddy, watch me run like you!!”, and she will proceed to run, just to make her daddy proud. My son is too young to understand what is going on, but he has helped me get through a few of my runs… if any of you know Arjay, you know that he loves comfort ( he had colic as a baby, and I think he has residual effects of it) If I ever put him in our jogging stroller, he will not make a sound…seriously I have run up to 1 ½ hours with him, without a peep from him… he enjoys it as much as I do!!! I think this Thursday, which will be my last run before the race; I will jog with him in the stroller. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll see me make comments about my dad. My dad is in fantastic shape…but he decided to take his fitness to the next level, by increasing his time running (from 2-3 miles to 5 miles), and over the last 4 months, he has now lost close to 20 lbs, and his cholesterol levels have dropped significantly. Yesterday, he calls me up and says “Son, this week I am attributing my running to you. I am going to run 26.2 miles in 4 days (which is more than he has ever done), and he said that if my son can attempt to run 26.2 miles in 4 hours, I can run that over 4 days…. If he can do it, I can do it!! That was so awesome!!!!! Dad, I appreciate your support for me and I love you. My mom is the nutrition expert. I can’t tell you her weight, (because I know that is a no no with women, but if you ever see her, you would think she is 15-20 years younger than she actually is... (I’m not telling you her age either!) She always gives me encouragement over the last 4 months of my training, and has helped me so much with getting my nutrition on point. She also has set it up for her, my dad and my younger brother to be at the race this Sunday. They don’t live in Tampa…they are in Miami and they are driving up Saturday to watch me race. I just feel so blessed to have such a supportive family that wants to celebrate this very important day with me. I just wanted to let my peeps know how much they mean to me!!! BTW, I ran some easy intervals this morning, hopefully to help keep my speed up, but I was only out there for about 40 minutes…… 5 days left!!!!!