When blu was originally diagnosed with an abcessed tooth, it was probably the best news I could have heard from the vet.  I’m positive, had I known  a malignant tumor was growing in her nasal cavity, we would not have spent the last four months of her life as we did.  I don’t think I would have pursued the 5k training with her.  I would have wanted to baby her believing her too sick to endure the activity.

Our first three mile walk** left her breathing heavy on the deck.  But even that improved and I would like to believe she enjoyed learning to run with me.  Although, it was more me learning to run with her.  She could have run the three miles easy.  The plan: to make the Turkey Trot our first race, making this Turkey Trot a semi-anniversary run for me.  It was also the catalyst race that started the craziness proceeding it.

Again this year, I will find myself with thousands of other turkey trotters lining their hometown streets for what has become an increasingly popular Thanksgiving event across the nation.  Mostly, I think runners & walkers love the idea of getting their gobble on without guilt.  Or less of it.

Instead of running it alone as I did last year, this race looks vastly different.  Namely, I haven’t slacked in my training and know I can run the entire three miles.  Not only am I a different runner girl this year but I have friends and family who will also be running or walking the course with me.  Running is no longer a solitary event even if I’m running solo.  I feel less like an impostor but still a far cry from being in the category of hardcore.

I am not going to be stuck in my car watching as real runners gear up for the race, trying to find a way to drive off without notice, tail between my legs.  I will not be covered in two layers of pants (one being fleece) and four layers up top plus a down vest.  I will, however, need a rain jacket as rain is predicted.

Most of this change is possible because of you.  You have cheered me on, motivated me when I was hanging out in the mean reds, and asked about my progress.  You have allowed me to talk your ear off about running & upcoming events.  You have donated money to a great cause so I could test my mettle against the half marathon.  (In that case, the half won.)  You have shared your own stories of defeat & triumph.  You have run with me.  You are the strangers who give me high fives or fist bumps or words of encouragement on the road.  You have believed in my ability even when my lizard brain takes my thoughts hostage.

So, this Thanksgiving, after I run my 3.1 miles, as the smells of a delicious feast beckon, I will take a moment of silence and give thanks for you.

**To clarify, we were consistently walking morning & night (unless there was heavy rain) but those walks were slow meandering strolls around the neighborhood.  Couch to 5k training walk/runs became focused and left little time for smelling the flowers or leaves or bushes or…