As my mother likes to say, "attitude is everything." That's her all-time favorite quote -- she even had it inscribed on her iPod nano once, back when that was a thing.
In running, just like in life, attitude truly is everything.
You can muscle through the shorter distances on GU and gatorade, but the marathon takes more. You have to see the finish so clearly in your mind before you even cross the starting line if you ever want to make it there. And you have to know why you're there.
With long distance, you're bound to have a bad mile or two. But knowing your "why" will get you through the worst of it all -- and in New York, there's plenty to choose from: the steep incline of the Queensborough Bridge, the unexpected incline along Fifth Avenue, the rolling hills of Central Park.
During the tough spots in my races and my life, I always think of my mom, Mindy. She's one of the most positive, tiniest and most inspiring people I know. She's also a survivor, in every sense of the word.
Facing a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, my mom endured chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries in the same way that she's always lived her life: with strength, humility and grace. Never complaining. Always smiling. Now cancer-free, she pays it forward by raising money for the ACS every year, currently totaling nearly $25,000 to compliment her many, many hours of volunteer work.
It's with this spirit that I try to approach my own life, and my run next Sunday, November 2nd will be no different. I decided to make it official this year by raising money for the charity closest to her heart -- the American Cancer Society -- in her honor.
Knowing what she's overcome in her life (with a smile on her face) reminds me that running a race -- even a really, really long one! -- is only as tough as you make it. And I see the opportunity to take part in the most magical race of the year in the greatest city on Earth as a blessing. For me, the marathon is a celebration, and the fact that my mom is still here to cheer me on literally lifts me up.
So in the spirit of Mindy and of the marathon, I ask you to please donate whatever you can to the cause. We both thank you so, so much in advance for your support -- both here and on the course!