Eugene Marathon: Pre-Race Thoughts
With my shakeout run done and the race tomorrow, it seems a good time to reflect on some pre-race feelings. Speaking of Pre, there are signs of the larger-than-life legend everywhere. The track where Pre ran is beautiful and open, and largely unchanged from photos I’ve seen of him dominating his hometown turf. It’s not just charged with the life of Pre, but also the energy of those who ushered him to greatness – Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger. Visiting Hayward Field last night was awe-inspiring. The finish line was quietly going up on the track. May that hallowed runners’ ground carry me those last few meters.
Before I even consider tomorrow’s marathon, getting to this point is its own victory worth celebrating. I launched into training immediately (and I mean immediately) after being cleared to run post-stress fracture. It meant tentative steps and wrestling fears of re-injury. With every additional run behind me, my hesitation waned. I made it through training injury-free. As I look forward to the race, I’m not without a bit of sadness that the cycle came to a close so quickly. I like training (said without an ounce of sarcasm). It’s where the majority of the quiet magic happens: the transformation and the possibility.
What else? Your support has been steadfast through it all. The outpouring of well wishes has moved me beyond words. I’m just an average person pursuing a common dream, but you’ve stuck with me. And that means a lot. As a friend said, “Have a safe journey and a kick-ass time. You have a lot of people with you every step.” When the hard moments hit, as they certainly will tomorrow, I’ll remember and repeat, “I am not alone.” That’s because of you.
There’s not much left to do now. The last 26.2 miles await and I’m ready for them. Sure, they may hurt and I may need to call upon the untapped reserves that lay deep within my bones, my heart, my mind. But I can let it be easy by accepting the experience as beautiful and celebratory. I’ll keep moving forward because that 3:35 moment is as fleeting as a heartbeat.
Let it be easy. I am not alone. Unstoppable.