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I’ve run two half marathons – so that is like running a full marathon. Except that there were two years between the two races (technicality right!?). And they were both AMAZING! The rush you feel when you accomplish a physical feat that you NEVER imagined you could can’t be topped.

I’ll run for Tiffany & Co. necklaces and firefighters in tuxedos! Oh and for Team in Training! Nike Women’s Half 2008.

This past monday was the Boston Marathon – with record highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. Talk about a challenge!! What mental strength they must have had to get them through those 26.2 miles – and Heartbreak Hill! I couldn’t help but be reminded of how life sometimes feels like a marathon. And for anyone who has run a distance race, you’ve dealt with “The Wall.” That moment where you know you are SO CLOSE, yet seem SO FAR. All you want is to see or hear that finish line! I hit my wall in both of my Halfs around mile 10 or 11. I apologize, again, to anyone who attempted to cheer me on and was met with a, “For %*&$ sake!” It was not my proudest moment. I’ll blame it on the delirium. Two things I learned:

1. It is PAINFUL to stop and then try to run again. PAINFUL. So I just decided to keep moving.

2. You never thought you’d make it this far, so why give up now!

Rain or shine! Bring. It. On! Richmond Half Marathon 2010.

My graduate school program has often felt like a marathon. Papers after papers. Readings after readings. Lack of sleep and somatic symptoms of stress. However, I’ve always told myself – just keep going! You are so close now.

And I AM! I have 3 classes, 1 paper edit, 1 CBT final, 1 poster presentation, 1 more day as Graduate Assistant, and 6 days of clinicals left before – I am an MSW! I’ve past “The Wall” and can now see the finish line.

AND IT FEELS SO DAMN GOOD!

Another lesson I learned from running distance races is that it is SO important to have a team. Sidenote: I ran the Richmond Half with my best friend Erika and friend Carolyn – though they left me in the dust, only to cheer me through the finish line:). The race was two months after meeting Joe. Not only did he come with us to Richmond, but he stood – in the rain – holding a bright pink poster – with my parents – alone – for 3 hours. He had me at, “Way to go!” Love.

Whether on the race course OR on the sidelines, I could not have done this alone. I have so many people to be thankful for during my graduate program. For my parents, always telling me I CAN. For Joe, who knew what I wanted, and never asked me to compromise on my dream (and who has cheered me on via Skype for more hours than we’d like to count). For my BEES (Erika, Stacey, and Bonnie), who have painted Boston RED and proved that no matter the distance we are still there for each other. For my bestest Tran, giving me R&R space in CT and allowing me to become a closer part of her life and her beautiful family. For my Uncle John and my Uncle King, you have always encouraged my passions and fueled my dreams. For my whole family, who gave me the genetic fortitude to be persistent. For my roommates, who put up with the hermit like personality I took on twice a semester and my really odd interest in TLC reality shows (oh and video’s of Ellen scaring people). For my fellow GSSW-ers, who will change the world – mark my words!

Here’s to the last finals EVER!

Erin

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