Tonight’s sleep will likely not come easy. Instead, I will toss and turn to the humming of “What Ifs?”
What if my IT Band starts to ache early on?
What if Chicago’s infamous gusts torture us?
What if I start too fast?
What if I mess up my fueling system?
What if the heat becomes unbearable?
What if I can’t do this?
This is not my first time running 26 miles, but the marathon is a distance that, no matter how many times you do it, you must respect its demands. It’s one of the greatest things we as humans can do and it’s the only sport in the world where elite athletes compete next to the average man who just wanted to do something extraordinary. The marathon is not just a physical test, but also mental one for it’s not the fastest that conquer a marathon but those with the steadiest minds. And for that, it’s to be feared.
I can’t predict how my body will act nor my mind, but I know that I have nothing to truly fear. My body can psychically do this and my can cooperate. Even if all goes horrible, which there is no real reason to think it well except unfortunate circumstance, I can still manage.
But the truth is that tomorrow should be a wonderful day. For so many reasons, including:
- I will be running with the same group that has met me for Saturday morning runs for three months now. They have become a source of strength and reliance and I am excited to run with them tomorrow.
- My mom and boyfriend will be waiting for me at certain points. My mother flew all the way from South Dakota to be here and my boyfriend has gotten up every Saturday morning for the last three months to drive me to my team runs. There are so much support and I am so incredibly lucky that they will be watching me.
- I will be with my city, following its cemented paths and embracing its cheers.
- Thanks to the generosity of my friends and family, I’ve been able to raise money for 47 people to receive clean water. 47. That’s amazing, and more than I ever thought possible. All the people who gave, all the people who are being helped. It’s truly enough, no matter if I have to crawl to the finish line.
Tomorrow hasn’t even started and already I know it is a great day.