My emotions have been all over the place. I’ve been sleeping more than I have in a long time, yet at times I’ve felt absolutely restless and anxious and have found myself staring up at the dark ceiling in the middle of the night, unable to doze back into a slumber for a little while. My thoughts aren’t totally coherent when it comes to my pre-race anxiety, they sort of bounce all over the place. If I start to doubt myself or feel nervous about the race, within seconds those feelings are replaced with sheer excitement and giddiness, certainty that I can and will do what I am setting out to do, and a powerful sense of calm and peacefulness about it.
I am SO grateful to be arriving at the start line of my 10th marathon feeling the way that I am. Having made it through some pretty incredible months of training uninjured, stronger than ever, passionate about my sport and about my life. And totally and completely happy.
This training cycle has been about discovery. I have discovered a strength within myself that I never imagined could exist. I have also realized that there is just this tremendous amount of love all around me – love from the truest of friends and from my beautiful family. I will be running with a grateful heart tomorrow.
It is Marathon Eve. Tomorrow will be a celebration. A celebration of the many gifts I have been given in life. A celebration of where I am in this very moment. A celebration of who I am. A celebration of my family, my friends, and my health. A celebration of all of life’s gifts.
Yesterday I went to the Expo to get my race bib. I had a friend who SO kindly offered to pick it up for me on Thursday (because she is awesome) so I wouldn’t have to drive across the city on a busy day to get it. It would have made my day ten million times easier if I had avoided the Expo. But there were two reasons I REALLY wanted to go:
(1) I wanted to be a part of the pre-race excitement. Expos are fun and there is so much energy buzzing all around in that room. I wanted to feel that and experience it.
(2) I wanted to go because my dear friend and AfterNuun Delight van mate, Kim, was going to be there. And I really NEEDED a hug from Kim. If you have ever met this woman, then you for sure know exactly what I am talking about. It was worth the drive and the time to get that hug. Seeing Kim and talking with her was EXACTLY what I needed yesterday. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me to relax, to not worry about what anyone else around me is doing, to remember that I am doing something that I LOVE tomorrow, and to think of this race as one big giant present. And, of course, to have FUN. She said – “just go for a run” – and there was so much wisdom in her words.
Kim is good with advice and she does not hesitate to share what is in her heart. She has amazing perspective. SHE is a gift – love, gratitude, kindness – a true, true friend. I have known her a short time, but I am telling you there is this tremendous amount of trust I have in her, and in so many of the amazing people I met when I ran Hood to Coast with Nuun this summer.
The heart doesn’t need time to love someone – it just happens. Sometimes in an instant. I trust my heart. It has always led me to good places and to good people, when I REALLY listen to it.
Tomorrow, I will let my heart lead me. And my legs will follow.
Late yesterday afternoon I opened the mail and was so surprised to find a letter from my sweet friend Molly who I shared a room (and bed!) with in Seattle before we went to Hood to Coast. I haven’t gotten “real” mail like this in a long long time, and it just made me so happy to hear from her.
It was another reminder of how blessed I am in life. A reminder that I get to decide how I choose to live. My perspective, my attitude, my happiness, my gratitude – this is up to me.
Tomorrow I am going to keep all of this in mind. I am going to think about all of the colors in my life. The people in my life. The choices I make and the gifts I have been given and what I choose to do with them.
And I will celebrate all of it with one awesome, beautiful, 26.2 mile long run.
Marine Corps Marathon, here I come!!