For many of you, this may be your first foray into this super weird world of marathoning or halfmarathoning. You may have taken this as a personal challenge or a “bucket list” item. Some of you may have been talked into it because a friend was going to do it and wanted someone to suffer with. A handful of you may have had one too many sangrias and and got dared into running it with the possibility of a $200 payout if you finish or that you’ll have to drink vodka out of a dog bowl if you don’t…this is a true story from a customer I had last year…hilarious… 🙂 ….whatever your motivation is behind running the marathon or the half in just over a week and a half, you’ve done the training. Go out and crush the day!!!!!

Traci and I have done our best to inspire you to be your best…or to at least realize that you aren’t the only one having sucky runs. This post is going to be geared toward what is going to happen when you are done running on Sunday. The commentary below is possibly fictional, but may be real…let’s be honest…I don’t know most of you.

The morning of the race is finally here. For months you’ve been training your butt off…hopefully… You’ve got all of your gear dialed in, your nutrition is on point. The weather is beautiful…hopefully…the gun goes off and it’s on. Your breathing is good. Your heart rate is in your optimal zone and everything feels great. The minutes tick away…fast forward to the final 400 meters of the race…the finish line is in sight and spectators are all cheering. Try not to cry. Don’t have your ugly cry face for the finishers photo. You’ve finally done it!!!!! You finished the race!!!!! You walk through the chute…don’t forget to stop your watch…you get your medal. You find your family and friends. You grab a banana, Gatorade, chocolate milk, and whatever else. You pose for a few selfies with you biting your medal..don’t forget to add a filter that doesn’t make you look like you’re dying… You grab a Sam Adam’s beer and you VERY SLOWLY make your way back to your vehicle. You maybe stop to eat all of the available food at Jethro’s, Qdoba or Hy-Vee. You head home, shower and for the next few house lay on the couch checking your Instagram, twitter and Facebook feeds for all of the people “liking”, “loving” or throwing out meme’s and gifs because of what you just accomplished. You might get up and walk around for a bit (which I recommend), but come bed time, you lay down for the greatest sleep of your life.

Monday morning comes around. You very slowly get out of bed and waddle to the bathroom. You look at your medal and try to decide whether or not to wear it to work. You decide against it, but throw it in your jacket or purse “just in case” someone wants to look at it. People ask how it went. You explain that you finally found what the “runner’s high” feels like. You explain how at moments you felt like you were flying…not mentioning that the flight you thought you were taking was to meet your maker…and then you talk about how this is a feeling you wish you could put into a pill and feel for the rest of your life…not mentioning the cramp in your calf that hasn’t gone away for the past 24 hours. You’ve answered the same questions now for 8 hours and it’s gotten kind of annoying. You quietly moan as you get out of your desk chair to head home for the day. Everything hurts and you think you are literally dying inside. You reach into your purse or jacket pocket and feel that cold medal. You grab it and can’t stop looking at it. As you sit there for a few minutes, you remember those long training runs when it was 90 degrees and 100% humidity. You forget how painful those runs were and look at that medal and realize that you accomplished something that less than 1% of the country will do. As you take the long, slow walk to your car, you remember those 5am runs that felt like they would never end. The rainy days where you decided to head out when it felt like more of a job than something you were doing for fun. You think about the chaffing, the blisters, the weird pain that was in your butt during a run. You reflect back on where you were a year ago, 6 months ago, 6 weeks ago or a week ago. You think back to the day before the race when your brain was telling you that you were going to fail. You think back to all of those times and what you have overcome and can truly say “I did it”.

Again, this may be fictional….I don’t even know if you like Jethro’s…but as we are in the final week and a half, take some time to reflect on what you’ve done this past 15 weeks or so to get ready for this event. This is going to be your day. Embrace it. Take in the race. High five the people who are coming out to support all of the runners. Pick a spot on the wall where you will hang that finishers medal. Prepare to be crowned a badass!!!!

Hope you are enjoying the cooler temps…and avoiding as much rain as possible…and getting ready for the big dance.

Stay Strong, Run Long