I was alone today, well, except for the cats. Alone with my thoughts, my ipod in one ear, and the cats who seem to rule their nighttime kingdom. I had a 21 miler and my friends were tapering for St. George. So I ran solo, with my mind talk to keep me company.
While I ran I mished and mashed the conversations going on in my head. I wanted to tell my marathon friends good luck and good racing. In no particular order, here is a compiled collection of several hours of solitary head ramblings.
First, you are ready. I know because I was with you on those 3:15a.m. long runs. You have worked hard. You have tapered. You have followed a plan and worked toward a goal. Now go out and show me the money!
Second, there will be miles that just hurt. It might be mile 10, it might be mile 19. When that happens, let your muscle memory take over and try and flush all that pain out of your system. Go to your happy place. Keep on keepin' on and you will get a second wind. You will feel better. And you will get stronger again during the next mile or two.
Third, remember to smile. Natascha Badmann, one of my favorite triathletes, is known for her smiles. She smiles through the entire Ironman and none's the wiser if she is in pain or not. She's just happy to be there. She's thankful for her health. She's glad to be part of the race. Here she is:
Lastly, be proud. You're going out there to do something on Saturday that not many people would even consider doing in their entire life. You've chosen something hard. You've challenged yourself. You've gone out of your comfort zone to something a little scary and daunting. So walk tall. Run proud. Finish strong. Then pat yourselves on the back. Because you're going to finish a marathon. And that, my friends, is cool.
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