Six days until my 15th marathon. Of the dozens and dozens of road races I've done over the years, the marathon is my most tackled distance. Unlike just about any other race, I've never felt the same way I do when I run a marathon.
A warrior spirit, that's one thought I had a few years ago as I was about to battle the course for 42.2K. A kinship with my fellow runners who trained for four months: That's what I thought of last fall before my Toronto Marathon. Excitement, almost bubbling over so fast that I had to pump my fists and clap as my last marathon began three weeks ago today.
Something about taking on that distance -- the knowledge that you will attempt your best run -- humbles you, excites you, and makes you realize even before you get that medal that just getting to the start line was a major victory.
The marathon is one of those races that takes brains, guts, heart and muscle. Race with your head, race up to your capable pace, race to the edge of your ability, and race when your body tells you to stop. That last part takes guts and the non-cardio part of heart. Pure heart.
Goals, I'm starting to form them. The pace, I'm visualizing. The course, I'm comitting it to memory. The pain, I'm learning to shut it out. Starting to feel the buzz. By Sunday morning, it'll be a full-on adrenaline rush. We'll need it to get through the full distance. Game. Is. Almost. On.