I'm not sure how I feel. I'm almost indifferent. I'm definitely not nervous, but I can't stop wondering: Will the training I managed to do in recovery be enough? Will it go as well as my only 20-mile training run went and allow me to finish close to my original goal of 4 hours? Or will I fall apart at Mile 22 and have to drag myself to the finish? I'm also not sure how this cold is going to affect me. I was much sicker last weekend and was able to run my best at the MCM 10K so I'm hopeful.
But I'm not worried and I'm not nervous... yet. Maybe I will be later or tomorrow. Or maybe everything I've done this year has changed how I see a marathon. Yes, it's hard and it's going to beat up my body tremendously. I will be in a world of unrivaled pain from about Mile 20 on that will last for days. But it's still easier to prepare for than even a short triathlon. I get to wake up, get dressed and walk out the door. No bike, no wetsuit, no enormous bag of gear to worry about. I don't have to fret about a flat tire or jellyfish or crashing my bike. So in many ways, I feel much more at peace than I ever have before a race and it's a great feeling.
I'm resting and sipping Gatorade to make up for last night. In a bit I'm going to head out and buy some last-minute supplies:
- Two sheets of mylar. One to sit on (the ground is freezing and inevitably wet and the 2+ hour wait requires being in a horizontal position) and one to wrap up in if it's brutally cold.
- Several packets of tissues. I don't use tissues when I'm actually running (warning: do not run next to me), but I figured I'd be civilized and use them before the race. They also come in handy if the porta potty runs out of paper after 35,000 people have violated them.
- Purell. 35,000 runners and 2+ hours of porta potty use. Enough said.
- Aquaphor. Between the Aquaphor and Body Glide, I'll be slippery as can be. There isn't much I don't lube up for a marathon. Less is more does not apply here.
I ate the world's biggest breakfast at noon and am planning to eat an early, light dinner. I have no idea if I'll be tired enough to sleep tonight. I never sleep well before a race. I don't have to be up until about 5:30 so that's a relief and with Daylight Savings, I get an extra hour.
If all goes well, I'll be finished by this time tomorrow and heading to the local bar to celebrate with my friends. As I've said before, this marathon is an end and a beginning. It's the end of this year that's been filled with challenges and it's a chance for me to prove that the accident didn't get the best of me. And it's the beginning of my next phase of training, which includes my 11-month journey to my first Ironman. That makes me want to enjoy this rest day even more.