I talked to my triathlete bud Mark yesterday. He is heading out to Ohio for his first full Ironman on Sunday. And with my marathon being on Sunday too, we obviously had a lot to talk about.
He said a lot of his colleagues were wishing him luck before the Ironman. I asked him if he felt like he was going off to war. He said “Yeah! I didn’t think about it like that.” But we concurred that the way people look at you before taking on a big event like a marathon or Ironman, that stare and wonder about the unknown, makes it feel like we’re going off into a battle. But Mark and I shared in that feeling, that knowledge of taking something on that is unusual, not unheard of, but not what one tends to do on any given day.
Over the past few days, I worked really hard to relax, which seem to be a contradiction in terms, but was the case. When I was at home, I brought everything I needed to the nightstand or endtable, so I wouldn’t have to move. Last night, on a “school night,” I had dinner at my friend Amanda (the medievalist and nurse)’s house. I knew that good food and great company would serve me well. I’ve had back-to-back nights of good sleep. Yesterday, as soon as I was done teaching, I went home, choosing resting at home as the best option for the day. I even got in a 20 minute run on Friday. Some pain, but certainly manageable pain. Got clearance from Sarah – the runner (and medievliast), Amanda (nurse and medievalist), and Kathleen (doctor and best friend). It can be done!
Went back to school late in the afternoon afternoon for a graduate student function. Had debated about going, but knowing that it would be my last chance to see my DC friends before marathon convinced me it was worth it. And it was. So fun and relaxing. To get well-wishes from everyone was just lovely.
And with that I boarded a bus to the airport. I donned my Boston jacket, and sure enough, there were 3 other Boston Marathon alumni on the bus! One of the runners I actually have friends in common with, and we spent the ride to the airport chatting away abut running and marathons. What a small world.
Flight was smooth. I am back at home. Went to the expo this morning to pick up my race stuff. Finally got the race number – 493. We are ready to go. It will be 59 degrees at the start with a chance of rain.
Today is a good day to be alive. I am grateful that there are those out there who serve our country and make this country great.