4 days til the marathon and my fears are actually starting to lift away.
I keep replaying Chadd telling me "it's just running. It's not like this isn't something you don't know how to do, just go run."
It's also made so much better by the fact that my two very dear friends, Maureen and FJ, have volunteered to run a couple miles with me. Technically, it's not allowed, but no one is ever stopped from running for a couple miles. Maureen and I have a history of running together--accidentally or on purpose. She and I usually wind up beating our PRs with each other because we think we're keeping the other back...that's how I crushed the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler at an 8:09 pace.
FJ is my iron man. He ran Ragnar with me and literally had that name on the back of his shirt: "Iron Man." FJ recently qualified for Boston and is a total inspiration to me--he's volunteered to run as many miles with me as I want. And since he did his qualifying marathon two weeks ago, I'm not too concerned about his ability to do as many miles as I need. I've asked him to be there for miles 16-20ish.
I've decided to run without my ipod for the majority of the race. That truly was one of the best things about the marathon the first time--was the sound of runners. It's a symphony of foot steps, breathing, whispers of encouragement, occasionally laughter, the crowd cheering, marching bands playing...and it feels at times like you are simply carried along by the runners around you.
Yes, there are moments when your body is in excruciating pain...probably best summarized by this WaPo article
I love especially the bit about the brain:
"The brain does not want the body to run into harm, so it will reduce its electrical impulses to the muscles--in other words, it will stop telling them to move.
Ready?...Or Not: The untrained brain has little or no experience with an effort of this magnitude. If the body pushes too hard, the brain receives a cacophony of threatening signals--Temperature is rising! Fuel is disappearing! My engines can't take much more of this, Captain!"
That author is CLEARLY a runner.
Then you read articles like this:
And you think to yourself: I am not lucky to run, I am blessed to run. I was passed in the Army 10 miler by a double amputee doing the race on two prosthetics. I felt like a huge jerk because I was just mentally complaining about how much it hurt and how much I didn't want to do it...it's the little reminders that keep your mind and body putting one foot in front of the other and to smile while doing it.
In the humor section...runners around the world are giving a big thumbs up to the Marine Corps Marathon race director who very clearly told Comedy Central to shove it when they asked if they could use the porta potties for the Steward/Colbert rallies the day before.
I love comedy, I love Stewart and Colbert, and I wish I could go to the rallies (I'm probably skipping in favor of the race expo and staying off my feet as much as possible since my angry heel is still, well, angry) but guys....the race has been planned for months and while I'm sure it will come through, your permit hasn't even been approved yet...and we've had ours for months. And let me tell you, I don't believe you for one second that Comedy Central would be able to get them cleaned out and restocked in time for our race. Don't throw a fit and tell us we're being unfair. I paid good money for those porta potties to be there and clean, well-stocked, and useable for me when I'm running. So unless some of the money that Comedy Central was offering to the MCM was going to go to crediting my race fee or to the Injured Marines fund, you can find your own potties.
A big heart felt thank you to the race director. Thanks for standing up for us. I'll think of you during all of my bathroom stops before/during/after the race.