There are so many people to thank that have helped me in my marathon training. It has been a journey that I seriously wouldn't have been able to do without so many people.
First and foremost, my amazing and wonderful boyfriend, Loren. When we first met, I told him that I was training for a marathon. Instead of being a distraction, he has ran almost every single mile of my training with me. He has stood and cheered for me at every 8k and half marathon. He has nursed me through injuries and encouraged me to keep running when I felt I couldn't. He has kept me on track for a healthy runners diet (except for that one Oreo milkshake). He has cooked me meals when I was too tired to cook after a 12 mile run. He has helped me bake and deliver pastries for Rise and Run, my main method of fundraising. He ran the twenty mile race with me even though it was just hours before one his best friend's weddings. He held me while I fell asleep at 8pm every Sunday night. He comforted me when I cried about injuries and training stress and whatever thing was wrong at that moment. He has honestly been the biggest support. I am so lucky and blessed to have him.
Carmen has been my next biggest support. She's the one who had the big idea of training for a half marathon and the even bigger idea of training for the full marathon. She trained with me and when she was able to build a faster pace she still encouraged me daily to keep training. We ran the same races, she cooked amazing carbo loading meals, and was my partner in crime with Rise and Run. She was aways available to talk about training, express concern for my minor injuries, and even if she didn't know it, she inspired me to do my very best in every run. I am so lucky that I met her when I did. Her friendship and inspiring example has changed me and helped me through a pretty rough time in my life. I can't wait to see her at the finish line!
The next biggest support isn't really a person but a big group of people who have donated to my fundraiser and those who have asked me on a daily basis how my training is. These are people I work with, friends I haven't seen in years, family, and Facebook friends! While your questions and donations seem like small tokens of support, they help in more ways than you can imagine. Running, at any distance, is mostly mental. While my body may be ready, I need the support of all of you to help me push across that finish line at 26.2 miles.
This journey has been more time consuming and emotional than I could have ever imagined. I have found a new respect for anyone training for a marathon but most of all I have found a new respect for myself. While I have not lost a single pound in my training, I have gained more self esteem. I don't look at my dress size or the number on the scale. I look at how far my body can run and how healthy I feel.
There is not a feeling in the world that can make you feel more powerful than running. While I was on a 15 day trip in Europe, a man in Berlin assaulted me on a busy street at 11 in the morning. I felt so helpless and afraid. The incident really effected the way I saw myself and I didn't think I could spend the rest of my trip alone. The next day I woke up and did a 15 mile run along the Berlin Wall Trail. I felt strong and empowered. That man didn't take anything away from me. I had the strength to get up that morning and face a 15 mile run. Running doesn't only make you physically strong, it makes you realize your potential for all kinds of strength.
My training has let me see amazing parts of Chicago and so many other places around the world. At first, running a 15 mile run on vacation seemed like the worst thing to do while I was trying to relax but it ended up giving me one of the best vacation experiences of my life. While training is the hardest part, it was also the best part.
While I am nervous about Sunday, I can't wait until I am able to see that finish line and run past it. Thank you to all of those you have supported me in one way or another these past few months. See you at mile 26.2.
Also, there's 26 more hours until my fundraiser ends!! Get your donations in: http://www.active.com/donate/BoMF2014CHIMarathon/BrittanyCampbell