I picked up my race number and timing chip. I’ve NEVER used a timing chip before!  The 10K I did in June just had a gun start and they used some guys watch to time the whole thing.  As soon as I stepped outside holding that number, my shirt and my bag of goodies, such strong emotions just flooded over me. I started to cry. I couldn’t help it! I felt so PROUD of myself for making it this far!!!!! I never thought I’d really get here – and here I am — the day before my first marathon! Wow…..

I drove to the start/finish area – which is located right next to the most beautiful pond and I walked over to the dock and just took in the beauty of the day. It’s such a lush, pretty area surrounded by trees. I just breathed and took in the moment — and watched as a 5k walk started right across the street. It made it seem even more like it was a special moment as I watched all the smiling faces take off on their race today.

After that, I walked to the city’s green belt where the race will be coming from right before the finish line. There’s this gorgeous brick red colored bridge I get to cross just towards the end. I’ve always loved that bridge. I savored the view today and stood there telling that bridge, “The next time I see you — you’ll be welcoming home a Marathoner!!” I took a mental picture and plan to use that image to push me through the challenges I’ll face tomorrow. I walked up the path some to a place that I have run often with my friend, B. It felt like being home. I’m so happy the race will end in a place I’m so familiar with! After a quarter of a mile, I turned around and walked back towards the bridge and the finish area. It’s going to be a pretty amazing day tomorrow. I can’t wait!

I was having a hard time getting my Garmin to turn on while I was walking the path. I figured I had not attached it properly to the charger the night before, so I tried not to panic as I headed home. But.. once home, when I placed it on the charger and NOTHING happend – I burst into tears!!!  This watch really has been my personal coach! I can’t imagine doing my big race without it!

Wayne was so sweet. He took over and started trying to work with it (Wayne does tech support for a living so this was right up his alley.) After several tear-filled minutes, my wonderful husband figured out how to soft start my watch and had it charging up again. I couldnt’ stop thanking him and hugging him after that.  He told me that he knew how much it meant to me and he’d have run out and bought me another one if he wasn’t able to fix it (which would have meant our rent would be late – but he loves me THAT much and knows how much this meant to me!) I’m so thankful for him!

I’ve chosen my clothes for tomorrow — my pretty new blue “marathon day” tank, my CW-X sports bra, my new bike shorts (with dry-wick), a pair of Puma tights in black that have these great slits at the back of the legs so I can pull them off over my shoes when I get too hot and a running jacket in black. I tried on my running chip ankel bracelet! Cool! And I’m debating about wearing my new Asics running shoes I’d had stored in the closet as my Christmas present to myself. I realized yesterday after my last easy run that the arch support is nearly GONE in the pair I’ve trained in this summer. I guess 400 miles on a pair of shoes will do that! I have the same make, model, everything as the last two pair, but I’m wearing them today just to make sure the laces feel just fine and such. AND.. since this is a small race — Wayne and the kids will be crewing for me every 2 – 3 miles along the course and I’ll bring along my current shoes just in case I need to switch during the race. I’m glad the timing chip isn’t the type that’s hooked to a shoe, so I have that option!

My new marathon shirt is cute! It’s gray with orange writing and a picture of a runner!  I’m really glad I ordered it in small. It fits great! It wasn’t much more than a year ago I would have ordered a size large. Wow… So much has changed!

My weight is 128 today. I’m day 19 of my cycle, so am a little bloated and have been carbo-loading.  I feel healthy. I feel good. I feel NERVOUS but so very excited! Please pray I’ll be safe and just do my best tomorrow! I really just want to do this and know in my heart of hearts — that I have accomplished something I never thought I could really do!

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