I can’t believe that in less than 12 hours, I’ll be running my first marathon. It’s hard to accurately describe in words how I’m feeling. I know I’ve done the training. I know I can do it. I need to start tomorrow’s race without an ounce of doubt.
I saw my chiropractor this morning for my last adjustments and taping. He’s run 40+ marathons and has done four Iron Man competitions. He understands endurance sports and how to push the body. I told him I was nervous, and he said (and later wrote on my hat brim), “You’ve trained hard and you’ve removed the word ‘quit’ from your mind, at least for today.” He’s right. There is no quitting. Not today, not tomorrow.
I’ve had friends and family texting, calling, and emailing all day wishing me good luck and telling me how proud they are of me. I attended the Team in Training Inspiration Dinner tonight and was overwhelmed with the most touching stories of blood cancer survivors, and sadly, of those who lost their battle with the disease.
I walked away from the dinner tonight having learned or having been reminded of a few things, all of which I’ll tuck under the blankets with me tonight:
- There are more than 1.4 million people in the U.S. living with blood cancer. Tomorrow I run for them. I run to get them out of their hospital bed and back into their own. I run to keep those living in remission to stay in remission.
- I run because cancer sucks.
- My family and friends believe me; I believe in me.
- I will embrace the discomfort.
- I am a long distance endurance athlete.
- I GOT THIS.
When I cross that start line tomorrow morning, I will begin a 26.2 mile challenge against my mind and body. When I cross that finish line, I will cry. I will have achieved something I told myself I would never do, and I will have made an impact on so many. I will accomplish something that is so much bigger than me.