One day to go! It is so exciting. I picked up my bib this afternoon. #480. It is going to be very interesting on how my body holds up. Last year was my first marathon, but I hurt myself (as everyone knows) around mile 3. Hopefully I don't get injured this time and can see how my body responds in the second half.
I am targeting a finishing time between 3:59 and 4:20. I plan to go out at a 9 to 9:05 min a mile pace the first half. If I feel good, I will slightly pick it up the second half (maybe just 5 or 10 seconds a mile). I want to leave myself a couple extra minutes for any unexpected breaks (the need to walk or use the bathroom being the main ones). I know I will hit a wall at some point. So hopefully I can push through it.
However, regardless of my finish time I am so thankful to be able to run and hopefully complete 26.2 miles. Two years ago, on Oct. 28, 2007, my father passed away after a tough battle with cancer. I lived close to him and did my best to support him. I watched him undergo all the treatments that were recommended. I rushed to the hospital a number of times when something went wrong. I was there about week before his death when his doctor came to his house to tell him that the treatments were not working and he would likely only have a week to live. He handled the news with strength and courage. He continued to battle the cancer until his death. He fought to walk 20 feet (with the use of a walker and help from others, including me). I remember how difficult it was for him to just stand up or sit up.
I know that 26.2 miles is hard. And, I know there will be hard times. But, just like last year, during those hard times I will focus on how lucky I am to be alive and to be healthy. I will remember that many people, like my dad, have to fight a tough disease that makes it difficult for them to take one step.
My dad died because of lung cancer. He smoked. Sometimes I get angry because he smoked. Yet, about six months after his death, I looked at my life. I weighed 232 pounds, had high blood pressure and eat unhealthy. I did not smoke, but yet I was not treating my body as I should. I was living a very unhealthy live. I decided that I would get in shape. I always enjoyed running (even though I had not run years) and always wanted to run a marathon and decided that I would train for one and run it in memory of my dad (my first posts tell the story). I've also learned to eat healthier.
So this year I will gain run this marathon in memory of my father. I also run it to be healthy because I learned from his live and what he went through. So no matter what time I finish with I am so thankful to be able to run 26.2 miles. It will be a blessing to be able to complete (hopefully) my second marathon.