I have been awake since 4:30 this morning. I'm so excited! I'm also a wreck because I have the team coming for dinner tonight and I still have a buncha things to do. This entire month has been unbelievably B-U-S-Y.
I couldn't have hand picked a nicer group of people to train with. Watching them build the endurance it takes to run distance was inspiring.
Frank and Josephine have been running for a few years but had not run distance. Frank does a stair stepping race, which I'd LOVE to see him do sometime. Josephine always wins the Grand Master place in every 5k. They were ready to take on the half marathon! They will do well tomorrow. Frank and Josephine are fellow Zoomers, our local running club. For those blogger friends who've been reading since the beginning, Josephine was "Blue Shoes". We met at the Lamarque 5K in January. I instantly loved her!
Ed has been running for over twenty years and is already a distance runner with a few marathons under his belt. He is also a fellow Zoomer. We run together and I know he's helped me shave my times. Ed came into the team rehabbing a quad injury. He likes to run with people and is running the New York Marathon Nov 2nd! He joined the team as an added bonus for his marathon training. Ed drives us all to the races and events in the "Love Machine". The family RV...LOL. Tess and I were just talking about how fun it is for all of us to pile into that RV and ride together to the events...we'll miss those fun rides!!! I have enjoyed running with Ed. He's a relaxed (but fast) runner and I've learned a lot from our runs.
Tess is also a marathoner. She has run 11 marathons already! Also a fellow Zoomer. She's aiming for a marathon every 3-4 months with one stipulation: each marathon will be in a different state! I tried talking her into Space Coast Nov 30TH with me but she already has a marathon lined up for December. Tess doesn't live too far from me and I hope we'll be running together through the fall. I'd love to tag along on a couple of her trips and run more marathons with Tess. Can you say "GIRLIE ROAD TRIP"???? lol
Bob and Michelle are our newlyweds! Bob is a swim champ and did track at one time. Michelle is our basketball champ. She played and coached basketball until she moved to Florida. I get the feeling she misses that and it would not surprise me if she goes back to it! Both of them are great runners and will also do well tomorrow. Bob will probably be the first to finish tomorrow, he's pretty quick! It's been fun watching them because Michelle is a "little competitive"...she gets this look on her face and I can just tell she wants to FLY....lol. And she does!
Cindy has been running for a little while. She rides her bike all over the place. I met Cindy at the gym before the Endurance Project got started and I knew she'd be an asset to the team. I was right! She's friendly, sweet and positive. I've enjoyed running with Cindy and getting to know her better. She also lives nearby and I hope to run with her too! I can't wait to see her cross that finish line!
Jada is new to running. She came to our team through Jim's personal training. He saw potential in Jada and thought she'd enjoy training for this half. We lovingly call her "Jetta" because someone wrote her name that way on a race bib....LOL. She'll never shake that nickname! Jada started out thinking she couldn't do it. Well I'm here to tell ya....YES SHE CAN! She's another member I've had fun getting to know. She got a new boyfriend and skipped a training session (oh is she gonna KILL me...LOL) But Jada can and will do very well in the half.
Linda is also a new runner. And in my age group...sighhhh. Linda is extremely busy and has had to do a lot of the training runs on her own. That in itself tells you how dedicated she is. She works full time and has a 3 year old cutie daughter who also keeps her pretty busy. How she's managed to get her runs in is key to her inner powers. We know Linda can finish the race. She knows she can do it too. She just better not beat me to that finish line!! I'll trip you sistaaa....LOL...(personal joke between me and Linda) I'm looking forward to seeing her finish too! (right BEHIND me....haha)
I think Coach Bethany was running in the womb. She's run many marathons, halfs, all kinds of races. She's done Boston. She's in my age group and I joke about how I'll celebrate when she's out of it (which will only be for a very short few months as we're only a few months apart in age.) But that's so irrelevant because she wins every race we ever run. I don't mean 1st in our age division. I mean 1st place woman overall. Every time. At Boca 5K when her name was called for 1st woman in, I whispered "ooooh, what a surprise" in a smart alecky way (but lovingly and proudly) and Jim laughed. He's her husband. He's used to her always winning, just like the rest of us...lol. Bethany, you're an asset to our gender!! It's been a pleasure running behind you. Really far behind you. Guess I should say I hardly ever saw you, that's how far behind you I've been...haha!!
Coach Jim put this whole project together. He's been my running coach since last Nov and taught me how to run. I've already gone on and on about how much I admire his coaching skills. Watching Jim coach everyone for the FCA Half was awesome. I saw how time after time people would tell him they didn't think they could do it. He'd reassure them and guide them as individuals, telling them what he saw in them that made him KNOW that they really did have it in them to finish this race. I saw them walk away with a renewed sense confidence and a smile. I know just how they felt. Jim has a coaching technique that makes you believe in yourself. You walk away realizing you are in control of yourself, you CAN do anything you set your mind to.
That leaves me. You all already know me. And to know me is to love me....LOL...anyway, when Jim first told me about the project I instantly wanted to join the team. When he ever told me I could help coach it, I went home and cried. My husband said "Does Jim know what he just did?" No, he doesn't. I have loved every single minute I've spent with the team. I have not missed one single Saturday, even when I was sick and couldn't run. I tried to bring a positive attitude and a gentle guidance to my team mates. It was a chance to give back a little of what I got from my own coach. I learned to run in a fun, relaxing way. To look around me and take in my environment. To "take the time to smell the flowers" when I run. I hope I did give that to my team mates. If even one person got that, I will run with a smile on my face forever.
I have mixed feelings about tomorrow. It's the day we all trained for. But it's also the end of our project. I will miss meeting every Saturday. I feel happy and sad all at once. Tonight's dinner party will be full of emotions. I'm looking forward to relaxing with everyone tonight. WE DID IT GUYS!!
I'll see you all at the finish line!!!!!