Breathless

I feel almost breathlessly excited. I went for my last pre-race run and it felt amazing (it WAS amazing; it was my first sub-11 minute pace outdoors in a long time), in spite of the mid-80 degree weather.

My heart is surprisingly free of fear. I expected nerves or worries at this point and there are none. Just a barely-contained excitement lurking below the surface of my outwardly calm demeanor. The only hint of the bubbling below is my chattier nature in the past day or so. I feel like I can’t stop talking. I didn’t think I would blog again this week, but between slow days at work and the aforementioned chattiness, I can’t seem to help myself.

I have made some decisions, at last. I will take my MP3 player in the woods; I am capable of running just fine with and without it, and if I want the music off, all I have to do is turn it off.

My wrist watch is coming with me, too. I just can’t leave it behind; it has been with me on EVERY SINGLE run I have taken since April of 2010 when I bought it. I will do my best to ignore it if the going gets tough, and let it motivate me to reach down deep for just a little more.

I will leave my fuel belt at home. If I can find a small waist pouch or something to carry my GUs in tomorrow at Road Runners when I go pick up my race packet, I will get one. Otherwise, I have run with them in my bra before and I can live with that.

With no fuel belt, I am choosing to rely on water stops for water along the way, but reducing the weight I carry and hopefully avoiding occasional back spasm I would get on 8+ mile distances when I had my belt on. I will bypass any sports drinks offered due to their sugar content and unknown reaction of my body and will drink a Nuun before I go and have one ready to drink after the race.

Tomorrow, I will lay out my clothing, pin my bib on my shirt, put my chip on my shoe laces, and pack my gear bag for the race, to include a towel and a warm shirt to put on after the race. I tend to take a chill quickly after a long run, especially in technical fibers, so something warm to wear on my core will help prevent that and hopefully prevent some shivering discomfort.

Today, I sent a few thank you emails to people who have helped and encouraged me along the way.

Saturday evening, if the weather stays decent, which I have faith that it will, will see us grilling some of our Bessie Cow on the grill, enjoying a local brew or three, and sitting around our fire bowl, enjoying the weather and each others’ company at the end of a long awaited goal. Sunday, Byram got us reservations to Can Can Brasserie on Cary Street for brunch. Assuming I am hale, whole, and able, I will go on a five mile run with Christine who is closing in on two weeks to her first 10K. I am very excited for her and enjoying our Sunday runs very much.

Monday will see me back at work after the long weekend, where I am sure I will still be wearing my medal and hopefully showing off photos.

It feels like The End, you know? Except it isn’t. I have to keep doing this. I want to keep doing this. It feels a bit like I will be free-falling without a parachute right after the race, with no immediate goals and no direction on what to do next. The lack of structure feels a little scary after having a goal and a calendar to follow for so very long.

It’s not The End, of course. I will just treat it like Intermission; a short break before returning to the action.

I like that thought.

See you on the other side.

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