26.2: 10 days, and counting

Just 10 days remain until the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

And if I could skip those 10 days and run it tomorrow, I would.

I thought I’d get progressively more nervous the closer the calendar turned to May 17 (it could still happen) but I am finding the exact opposite to be true, even though I’ve never done this before.

The first half of my three-week taper has been wonderful as far as getting a “break” and I feel better physically than I have in a couple months.

Now, all I want to do is get after it.

I never thought I’d put the phrase “confident” and “marathon” in the same sentence.

But while I feel confident, I’m definitely not taking this adventure lightly.

The greatest lessons I have learned as my long runs have crept up to 20 miles twice aren’t physical they’re mental.

I’ve been amazed throughout this process at what the body can handle.

The real challenge? Convincing the mind.

And it took about 16 weeks of this 20-week training cycle to convince me that I can do this.

I’ve stuck to the plan I laid out beforehand as closely as I could.

I’ve done more core and strength work in the last 18 weeks than I have in my entire life. (Seriously, that’s not sarcasm. That’s the stone cold truth).

I’ve figured out what I can stand to eat on my long runs Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars and gotten used to the flavor of Powerade that will be available on the course, even if I still find it somewhat disgusting.

In short, I’ve done just about everything I can do to prepare, while also giving myself a pretty good chance (knock on wood) to get to the starting line without more than a minor knee issue.

All that’s left is some logistical issues (what we’re going to go do in Cleveland the day before, stuff like that) before we head out next Saturday morning.

And in the infamous words of Bart Scott after the Jets AFC Divisional Playoff win “Can’t wait.”