It's been an amazing six months.
No matter what happens tomorrow, I hope I can allow myself to remember all those Saturday morning training runs, to remember how fantastic it felt to run long during the height of summer, and to rejoice that I actually completed this program, raised money for such a worthy cause, and learned a few life lessons along the way.
Of course, I want to finish tomorrow, and I want to finish strong, and I don't see any reason why I wouldn't be able to, unless I do something stupid, like eat or drink the wrong thing, not find the right metro stop, miss meeting up with my group, wear the wrong clothes, screw up my leg between now and tomorrow, or go out too fast or too slow. (I'm sure there are a few other little things that could go wrong, too, I'm just not obsessing about them at the moment.)
Bottom line: I loved training for this marathon. Even when it was an angst-filled pity party, I loved it. I have nothing but good memories of running along the National Mall, watching the sun rise over the Washington Monument, using the pit stop at Thompson's boat house, running past the Kennedy Center, watching the crew kids practice on the Potomac, running past the White House, having a freezing cold towel slapped around my neck by a thoughtful volunteer—right when I needed it!— and running along the Capital Crescent Trail, which is a ridiculously long way from where we start. I loved the heat. I loved being drenched in sweat from head to foot. I loved the ice baths afterward (did not!). I loved the fact that I did it.
So I hope that no matter how I do tomorrow, these are the memories that will stay with me, along with this blog and the amazing support you've given me and the friends I've made here. I'm constantly saying things like, "My friend, a. maria, just ran the S.F. marathon, and she ..." blah blah blah. Yeah, I call you my friends. And some of you, I don't even know your first names!! (My friend 21st C. Mom!!)
And (so this is going to start to sound like my Oscar-acceptance speech, but tough luck) my off-line friends as well. Thanks to all of you who not only donated money, but have been a constant source of encouragement, and advice, especially in my many moments of doubt. Special thanks to my work colleagues for putting up with my nonstop blathering about running, and then putting up with my many absences as I took off time for physical therapy and related appointments. You know who you are.
And many many thanks to those of you who helped me raise $1,900 ($200 over my goal!) with your incredibly generous donations for Whitman-Walker Clinic, (one of whom I have only met in cyberspace!):
Mary Ann Z.
Rosy M. (yeah, twice!)
And on that note, I've got to get my a** in gear and get ready for a marathon.
See ya at the finish!