Finish Line / Starting Line

My training is finished. Approximately 700 miles are behind me. “Only” 26.2 miles remain to be run on Sunday.

It really is amazing to consider how far my friends and I have come in our marathon training. Back in January, I wasn’t sure my knees or my lungs would even be able to hold up for a half-marathon! I trained for nearly two months just to make sure that I’d be able to commit to a group training process. But I made it through the half-marathon in May. I made it through the summer of hot, humid, uncomfortably-long training runs. And now I’ve only got the marathon itself before I’m finished. I still don’t know exactly what to expect for the race day itself, but honestly I feel proud to say that I’ve made it this far.

I’ve adhered religiously to the training regimen. Only one horribly-fated, hot, lost, 70-hour-work-week, afternoon 12-miler required me to walk for the last 0.46 miles. In general, though, it’s safe to say that I’ve run my paces and prepared myself thoroughly. My legs may not feel super-strong or itchy to run an uninterrupted 26.2 miles — but I suppose I’m about as ready as I’ll ever be. Funny how matter-of-fact I can say that.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me how they might come to cheer us on for race day in Canton (totally not expected, but still very much appreciated). To that end, the Hall of Fame City Challenge course map is accessible through the event’s web page. My best guess is that watching from 11th Street might be a good starting point for observers. We’ll be going up and down the same stretch of road twice: once around Mile 16 (which we should be hitting around 8:24 AM, if we can manage to maintain a 9:00/mile pace) and then again around the 18.5 Mile Mark (hopefully around 8:46 AM). From there, it looks like observers could still have enough time to get to the “Home Stretch” on Stadium Park Drive as we’re coming up on our last mile a bit before 10:00 AM (Lord willing).

It’s all just an educated guess as to how things will turn out, though. I’m excited, anxious, and eager to be on the other side of the finish line.

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