when it's time...

i'll whine. i'll hurt. i'll sweat. i'll probably cry a little. and might even bleed.

runs that go AMAZINGLY well and you're like 'yes, as a matter of fact, i *do* kick asphalt. why yes, i *should* wear a cape!'

runs that go so poorly after you've tried to do everything right that day. eat. hydrate. yada yada. and you STILL end up in GI distress for no effing reason.

at the beginning, after a long hiatus away, every step is hard.

most days i don't want to get up in the dark.

or cold.

time wanders on and i grow sick of bananas.

sick of pasta.

tired of 'no, you can't have that half a bag of potato chips. that won't digest well for your run later.'

tired of not being able to drink any friday night wine for 16 weeks. (even less 3 weeks from the start.) (yes, clearly i have never had kids for those who don't know me.)

running for 7 miles feeling like a marathon.

running for 8 miles.

running for 3+ hours straight. just as 'practice'.

buying gu's by the case. because you need em often when you go through 2-4 every weekend for a solid 8 weeks or so...

and then?

the magical day will come. the sun will rise early. the mojo and anticipation will literally pump from the heart through the body.

no sleep the night before. a few hours if you're lucky. restless sleep.

writing your name on your arm in the biggest sharpie they sell.

not trying anything new on race day. EVER. EVER EVER EVER.

sunscreen all over your body. (4+ hours out there can roast you right good if you're fair like me...)

then the bus ride to the start (the 'holy sh*t, i have to run back ALL THIS WAY?' moment happens.)

no matter how many marathons you've run, i think every runner goes through some version or another of all of the above.

i am 2 weeks away from the official start of training for marathon number five.

bought new training shoes today, spanking glowing white, wrapped in their perfect tissue paper enchilada, just waiting to be put on the first time, the 2nd, the 157th time to hit the real open road for 250 miles or so of 'practice'...

i dread part of it. i feel inadequate. i'm not worthy.

and yet, i'll work my ass literally off, feel horrible doing it some of the time and feel like i rule my own little universe the rest when i DO go out and workout 3-4 times a week, diligently, good or bad.

fact: no one makes it to the finish line if they don't put in the work and time.

watch any major race finish line. those people who look like the walking dead at the end? they did something wrong. not to criticize unnecessarily, but they did. if you run smart, train smart and stick to your plan? you will finish. standing up. happy. crying maybe, but not looking like you might curl up in a coffin at any moment because you made poor choices somewhere along the way...

i'll run alone sometimes during the coming months, but more often than not i'll be with friends.

who share the same sick twisted passion for pain and accomplishment.

and that finish line on june 18? will be the end of the winding road to sweet freedom of what one CAN do if they concentrate, focus and dream big.

anyone can have a dream. a want. a passion. an adventure to try out. (or repeat).

mine just happens to involve a lot of running around.

as john bingham loves to say, waddle on, friends. waddle on.

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