As I get into the zone, I begin thinking of my mother, who died in October 2001. She never saw me fit. She never saw me run. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to have her waiting at the finish line for me. I know she would cheer, shout and put on a show as if I had won the race. I even imagine taking my finisher medal and placing it around her neck because I know that even when things were uncomfortable, when things were going wrong in her life, she maintained her focus. She didn’t quit. She ran for me.