I didn’t know it at first, but I wasn’t mentally prepared to view the official course of the Marine Corps Marathon today.
I received a notification via the race’s Facebook page that the course was now available to view. After opening the PDF, I became a little overwhelmed. I guess running 26.2 miles hasn’t truly set in yet. As I followed the mile markers, I focused on the Aid Stations. Gee, I hope I don’t end up in one of them, I thought. Then I started to obsess over the food and water stations, especially the ones on Haines Point (the halfway mark) and mile 20 (where many runners allegedly “hit a wall”). Interestingly enough, mile 20 is across the 14th Street Bridge, a landmark that has always been really difficult for me. That bridge really screws with my head; I’ve always hated running across it. Mile 20 is going to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one for me, but at least I have time to prepare for it.
Looking at the course today, it seems daunting and impossible. I know I can (and will) do it, but wow…actually seeing it marked up on a map made it feel real. I am really doing this!
I also checked out spectator information since I have a lot of family and friends coming to my race. One thing that caught my attention was the Spectator Shout Out Contest. I thought this would be a great outlet for my family to raise awareness about LLS and the Do It For David campaign. Submissions for the contest begin in October and there will be five winners. The announcer will read the shout outs at the starting line. What if we won?! What an inspiration for me to be reminded on race day of why I’m doing all this: David. Through his story, I continue running to raise awareness of the great things LLS does to help rid the world of blood cancers. And isn’t that the point? To do something bigger than yourself?
I imagine what it will feel like to cross that finish line. Will I cross it solo? With a teammate? Who will I first notice cheering for me? Will I cry? I’ve got 2 more months to find out.