I'm a firm believer in the theory that it takes a village to raise a child. We've been blessed with a wonderful village of people that are helping our kids grow up to be the people we want them to be. It occurs to me lately though that it takes a village to build and ultrarunner as well. This is where I prove once again that I'm a total wimp and need a lot of support. I know there are lots of runners out there doing it all on their own and don't have the amount of help and support that I have. That's awesome that they can be that tough. I'm...not. Well, maybe I could be, but I hope I don't have to find out any time soon.
The most important people in my village of helpers are my running partners. The person that goes the most miles with me is Deanna. Bless her heart. If I'm running long she rides her bike with me and if I'm doing a shorter run she runs. She carries my stuff in a pouch on her bike, she gets up at all hours of the night to start with me (we started at 3 am last Friday), she waits while I stop to poop, then stop to poop again, then stop to pee. Then I stop to relube with vaseline. I tell her way more than she wants to know about my life. She does it all with a cheerful attitude and a smile on her face. I'm lucky to have her! Lately I've also been joined some by Joy, who is as wonderful as her name indicates. She's always happy and is just fun to be around. Someone I don't get to run with very much is Tammy. I wish we could run together more, but our schedules don't match up well. She's great because her husband is also a school administrator and I can talk to her about things that no one else understands. It's nice to end the run feeling refreshed both physically and mentally. One of the sweetest people I've ever met, Misty, walks with me on Monday nights. It helps loosen up the muscles after the weekend long runs and is just an hour of fun chatting that I look forward to every week. Without these ladies I would skip a lot more runs and when I did run I wouldn't have as much fun.
Besides people that run with me, there are those that let me stash stuff at their house or on their property. Joy lives in the country and has the absolute perfect spot to stash a cooler. In fact, oops, I still have one there from this weekend! I will go get that tonight. I hope. I've left stuff at lots of houses and am always so grateful that people let me do that so I don't have to worry about something happening to it or having to carry everything at once. If all else fails, Rick will bring stuff to me, but both of us hate it when he has to. I've met a few people in Eureka that tell me any time I need water or a bathroom please feel free to stop at their house. I just need to meet some more people out in the country!
I've talked about my friend Libby on here before, but I can't express how much she means to me. Not just with running, but in general. She's a really great person and I'm not worthy of her friendship. She supports me no matter what. She makes me believe there's nothing I can't do. I could go on and on, but just suffice it to say she's one of the most important people in my life. I'm also thankful for Rebecca, who I "met" on a running forum and have become friends with, even though we've never met in real life. She listens to me via facebook messenger and she gives advice or just an ear. She's always encouraging and is totally my diet/fitness role model. My dream is to look like her!
I can't write about the people that support me without talking about my husband and kids. I've gone on and on about them, but I'm really thankful for them. Ryan is always willing to pace me or crew for me or do anything else I need at races. Rick is just there for whatever I need. He's not always happy to do things like bring me ice when it's really hot, or bring me extra toilet paper, or get up early and ride his bike with me if I need him to, but he does it. He has started running and we're having a running date tonight. So excited! Adam is just Adam, which is a pretty special thing. He's not old enough to do much, but I know he supports me. He talks about me with pride at school. He brings me water or snacks if he can. He waits at home alone while I go run even though he hates that. He will put in a mile or two if I need him. He also makes me smile and laugh every single day, which is priceless.
There are so many other people that are helping "raise" me into the runner I want to be. I could go on and on. The Eureka Run for God group has been great! They continue to motivate me to reach my goals and encourage me. I meet so many people in town that are really nice and encouraging when they find out what I'm training for. Of course, they think I've lost my mind, but they're generally nice about it.
I've had people lately comment on how much more dedicated I am these days and how much more I run. For a while I was all proud of myself and felt pretty awesome. Then I realized it's not me that deserves any credit for that. It's my village. I've built this village up around me and they're the reason I continue to get up at 4 am (or even earlier) and put in the miles. I know that without their help it wouldn't happen. To everyone that has helped, is helping, and will help in the future: It may not always seem like I appreciate you or notice what you do, but I promise I do. I know that if (when!) I finish the 100 it will be due to your efforts.