The alarm went off and the old familiar feeling came back. Like clockwork, I wanted to hit snooze but didn’t. I dressed and rushed to the door to meet my running buddy at the park. It is still dark out and the morning air is cold. But I don’t long for my warm bed because I know I only have a short run planned and it’s the last one. In just three days I will be running my next half marathon.
The final run because my half is just an easy 3 miles. We decide on Thompson Park since it is open early, not far, and great for short distance.
“Are you nervous?” my buddy asks.
There are no nerves there, something I think comes with experience since this will be my fifth half. But usually, there are at least butterflies and excitement building up in my belly. I look inward and really just feel cool, calmed and collected over it. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to it and can’t wait to run it. In my crazy brain running 13.1 miles is going to fun. I think it just hasn’t hit me that this process is already over.
Looking back to the first day of training, I was eager and ready to put in the work. I looked forward to my runs and stayed dedicated. As the half marathon training progressed, there were good runs and bad ones. But never any regrets.
There were lots of accomplishments like getting faster, placing in races and feeling stronger. There were lows like dealing with a sore hip, but even that wasn’t a major injury or cause for derailment.
The sun began to rise, igniting the dark blue morning with flames of oranges and reds. Deer sprinted and bounced across from one side of the tall grassy fields across the pavement to the other side. Geese flew in a pack towards the crescent moon that was still on duty until the sun was completely awake.
The sleep in my eyes had been long gone by this point. My legs were wide awake and flying fast. But my mind was off wandering and daydreaming, enjoying nature and thinking about my journey this time around. My pace felt strong and speedy. I just felt good. By the end of the run, I began to get emotional. I started to think about how this is it. The last one. All that’s left now is to prepare for race day. But in fact, I am prepared and have stayed committed to my training.
As I walked back to my car and letting my heart rate go down, I couldn’t help but feel all the feels. I feel blessed for having the ability to run, to having a strong body and relentless mind that has carried me through this process.
All that’s left now is to rest up and get ready to race!