So much I wish I could say, but somehow just can't quite articulate.
I cannot believe this thing is a day and a half away. It's just crazy that it's finally here.
I can't even remember WHEN or WHY I decided to do this. I can't remember when I started to realize I really just might be able to do this. I can't remember when it became SO important to me.
And, I guess none of that is really important.
What's important is that I DID decide I want to do this. What's important is that I DID realize I really just might be able to do this. That it DID become so important to me.
And, it is.
SO important to me.
I honestly can't remember a time I worked SO HARD for something that was entirely, 100% on ME. Sure, I worked through college and even grad school. I've had some HUGE projects or tasks at work that I've devoted myself to and took ownership of and been proud of. But, nothing like this. THIS is all on me.
No one else can help me physically (though, you better believe the mental and emotional help is NOT un-noticed and DEFINITELY helps!).
No one else can do it for me. No one else could get up before dawn in the middle of July and do a long run where sweat was literally dripping into my eyes and making them burn. No one else could feel just how tight and sore my legs were after a long run. Or how much those ice baths really, really sucked. No one else could pick up any of the slack or lend a helping
THIS really has been the first thing I've ever really, really had to push myself outside my comfort zone and REALLY commit to doing. Even on the days when the alarm goes off WAY too early. Even on the days when I'm still sore from the day before. Even on the days when I didn't sleep great the night before. Even on the days when I already saw the gym once that day. Even when I JUST DIDN'T WANT TO.
I've surprised myself. Not because I'm still working toward the goal... I don't give up that easily and never have... but, because I never WANTED to give up. It never even crossed my mind. Did I doubt that I'd be successful (and still do a little bit?)? Absolutely. But, did I ever just thrown my arms up and say "I don't want to do this anymore!"? No. Not even for a nano-second. Never.
I LOVED training. I loved every step. Every second cross training. Every blister. Every black toe nail. Every sore muscle. Every much-needed nap. Every bite of food that just didn't seem to make a dent in my hunger. Every run. Every sweat drop. I loved it.
And, now- it's almost over.
I have 1 teeeeny, tiny 2-mile SLOW shake out run tomorrow. And, then-- that's it. Training will officially be OVER.
All that will be left is what all those weeks and miles were training for... the marathon.
I want to run this thing so bad it hurts. My legs are ITCHING for it. My mind is incapable of thinking about anything else. The only thing I've EVER been thing excited for was my wedding (and, to be fair-- that excitement kicked this excitement's ass...so, there's that for comparison).
THIS is different. This has required SO MUCH dedication and motivation and mental AND physical strength. This has required me to really put myself out there and risk FAILURE. This has made me reach for something that I once never, ever thought I could ever achieve. This has made me see myself differently than I ever have before. This has made me see that I am capable of SO much more than I thought I was and that my body is able to be pushed SO MUCH harder than I ever thought.
I owe running so much. I owe this marathon so much and I haven't even run it yet.
No matter what happens Sunday, I will forever be grateful to the 2012 Chicago Marathon. I will forever know that I gave this training cycle and this race my ALL. That I put 100% into each run and each workout and each day. I will forever know that I did this.
Sunday can't come fast enough.
I can't wait to toe that start line. I can't wait to see the look on the Hubs face when he sees me on the course and to give him a HUGE hug after. I can't wait to see my friends and family cheering for me. I can't wait to soak it all in. Every step. Every other person. Every everything. I can't wait to give it my all. I can't wait to feel that runner's high.
I can't wait to cross the finish line and officially be a MARATHONER. And, I know, on Sunday-- I will.