But truth be told, the magic of a marathon isn’t in the 26.2 miles on race day; it’s in the nearly 500 miles of training that happens in the months before. It was the conversations with Tim that laid a foundation of trust for our friendship. It’s the thoughtfulness that Sharon showed those times she had chocolate milk at the end of our long runs. It’s the overwhelming generosity Rebecca showed me, from giving me her rain jacket after hearing about me freezing without one, to running my first 15 miler with me, taking me out to breakfast afterward, and everything in between (she really is too good to be true). It’s the amazing sense of love I felt when I saw my friends wearing “Team Stacy” t-shirts at the finish line. And, it’s in the countless feelings, frustrations, and fears I have worked through while running down those desolate, tree-lined roads. You see, I wasn’t supposed to be a runner. But I am. And my life is better because I chose to be a one.

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