The run will come out tomorrow

I'm running my first marathon in over two and a half years this weekend: the Philadelphia Marathon.  The last marathon I did was the NJ State Marathon in April 2015 and that race was, to be frank, an absolute, unmitigated disaster.  Honestly, that could be the end of this post - I'm running a marathon, it's been years since I did this distance, and for the first time in well over three years, I am actually excited, and somewhat anxious, to run 26.2 miles.

My training has been fun and not a chore.  Because this is not my first running rodeo, I know what to do.  I've been diligent about my long runs and logging a handful of runs during the week.  I have not been diligent about doing speedwork, but I know that I'll be fine come Sunday even without that.  My long runs have been consistently strong, with one or two demoralizing clunkers (which, for anyone who has trained for a marathon knows, is par for the course when training for this distance).  My head has been in the game. But more importantly, my heart has been in it.  Really truly, 100% invested and in it.  I have basically been like the below photo (from the 2017 Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia, taken the moment I saw the five kids and my sweetheart cheering for me) for my entire training:


And therein lies the huge difference between this marathon and my last marathon back in 2015:  the heart.  In the training leading up to the NJ State Marathon, and on the race itself, my heart was simply not into it.  I tried to convince myself to the contrary ... that of course my heart was in this race, of course I cared, of course I wanted to run and to BQ and to PR and to race and to ... no.  It is like when my law school roommate and I decided to eat healthy and ate lots of tofu hot dogs for meals.  We tried to convince ourselves that the tofu hot dogs were just as good as real ones and OMG they are so so good right yes they are good yes they are super good ... until the two of us went out and got real hot dogs when we realized how, ok, no tofu hot dogs were nowhere near as delicious as real hot dogs, real hot dogs were amazing. And tofu is stupid.  My training for this race has been the real hot dog: I've loved every run, been thankful for every run, and even though I am not gunning for a BQ or a PR, I can't wait to lace up my shoes, play my horrendously amazing playlist and run 26.2 miles on a journey through the city I love. 

On one of my final long training runs, I was settling in about 3 miles in.  It was a picture perfect Fall day, and I was running so happy.  I had just spent a lovely morning with my husband and was feeling super happy, super strong, and super blessed.  I know in the age of the "hashtag blessed" phenomenon, that may be eyeroll inducing to some, but it's true and I really am blessed.  As I let myself sink into my happiness, the song "Tomorrow" (yes, from Annie) came on my playlist.  I had a flashbulb moment to mile 15 of the NJ State marathon where that song also came on.  I remember thinking during that race how I really did need tomorrow to get here - I was suffering on the run, I was suffering in general and was just so profoundly unhappy.  I had nothing left but hope that tomorrow would be better.  And now, two and a half years later, here I was at my tomorrow with a life so good it was almost too good to be true.  I had made it to the point that 2015 mile 15 me had hoped for.  It was a beautiful full circle moment for me. 

Here's to a great, fun run this weekend! I can't wait. 
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