I'm sitting here on the eve of the Marine Corps Marathon, thinking about the fact that this is likely the last marathon I will do for a long while.

Bob and I just had a wonderful dinner with the Team Homes for Our Troops folks.  We heard some inspiring stories, both from the wounded soldiers who have had homes built for them and from other fellow runners and Team HFOT members.  

I don't think I was prepared for the emotional realization of what it meant to be a part of this team.  A soldier stood up to speak.  He had his 3 year old son with him.  He had an arm and a leg amputated after his first tour in the Iraq war.  And he thanked *us* for what we were doing.  And I was just incredibly struck by the fact that he would thank us, because, of course, we should be the ones thanking him until the day that we die.  It just really hit home to me the importance of community and camaraderie.  I think it just means so much more to me to go out there tomorrow and have an amazing run and to be thankful for all that I have, for my life, and for the lives of my loved ones.

I think about the strength of our troops and the sacrifices they so willingly make, and it makes me think of the strength of the people in my life that motivates me to run and to just keep taking one more step.

I run first and foremost because of the day that I feel like I became a mother.  This experience is what helped give me the confidence to believe that I could do something like run and possibly one day run a marathon.

I run because of my own mother, because she inspires me with her strength and her perseverance through any adversities life has brought her.  Even though she is not as mobile as she might like to be, I run because I am and I can, so that I might glorify her.

I run because of my mother-in-law, because she has propped me up with her support on more occasions than I can count.  She is an incredibly strong woman.  She has overcome a lot of challenges in her life, and she did it while raising the man I love.

And, right now especially, I run because of my sis-in-law who teaches me every day about patience and fortitude.  Whenever I think about giving up and quitting, I think of her, and it gives me the strength to carry on.

I will take all of these amazing women with me tomorrow, as I set out on my long journey.  

I know I am not going it alone.