I am so excited to be running a marathon again, I can hardly focus. Here’s what I’ll be thinking about throughout the Little Rock marathon on March 4.
Starting line: I will look around and take in the energy of all these runners, anticipating their marathon. We’ve worked hard, we can hardly wait. Some of us have done this before, some are running it for the first time, but we all are part of this crazy running community. I’ll hug my friends and wish them a good race. As the National Anthem is played, my heart will swell with gratitude, I’ll sing along and let the tears flow.
Miles 1-3: I will focus on holding back, keeping my breathing even and enjoy the run across the bridge.
Miles 4-6: As we head back over the bridge and go through downtown again, I’ll get ready for my first fuel intake and celebrate 10K accomplished.
Miles 7-9: During this point, we go past the state capitol. I’ll think of those who are public servants and pray for the upcoming elections.
Miles 10-12: I think about this being my 13th marathon and how thankful I am for my health. I’ll be fueling again during this section and I’ll be thankful for my new fueling strategy and how much more energy I have now. As the halfers separate for their turn to the finish, I’ll clap for them and me, now there’s more room!
Miles 13-15: Now it’s time for the big, long climb up Kavanaugh. This is what we trained for. This is why we ran Golf Ball Hill over and over. We are ready for this, it’s just a bump in the road. The houses around here are beautiful and the flowers are probably all in bloom.
Miles 16-18: Downhill section, what relief, easy on the quads now! Refuel again. I’ll be praying for Dorothy and Angie, two other bloggers or podcasters who give me inspiration and are running marathons in other states today.
Miles 19-21: Turning around on Riverfront, I can see who is behind me and greet my friends, assuming there are any there! I’ll encourage, encourage and encourage and look for all those Marathon Maniacs so we can give a shout out to each other. At mile 21 I'll start counting my miles as #1, - 6, just a mental trick to stop focusing on how many miles I've run and focus on only 6 more miles.
Miles 22-24: I’m in my final 10K “sprint,” I will not give in to pain (unless it’s my knee). I will think about my son, Chris, who went to his eternal home during his 23rd year. I’ll rejoice that he is in Heaven, having the time of his life, and he’s watching me race with pleasure. I know he’s cheering me on.
Miles 25-26: I’ll continue to think about Chris, these past two years that he hasn't been with me, and I’ll run this segment for him, for all those things he didn’t get to do with us and I’ll make sure that I run strong. I will trust in God to give me strength and help me persevere when I want to walk. As I go under the Broadway underpass and see that lipstick stand, I’ll grab the prettiest mauve and prepare for my finish.
Finish line: I am running strong, I don’t know what my finish time will be, but I’ll celebrate that I am running a marathon again, after being off for a year. I’m a marathoner x 13 and I have a HUGE dinner plate size medal around my neck!