I didn't get a medal or a t-shirt and there wasn't really any celebrating from any spectators, but I did something just as important as running a marathon on Sunday.
I finished my training.
Now, there are still two Sunday runs left before Surf City, but at 12 and 10 miles, these next two runs are mostly about getting the miles in and maintaining your form and fitness. All the hard work is over. All the grueling, mind-numbing, leg-killing, side-splitting, limp-inducing training runs are over.
It's something worth celebrating. I don't want to feel like the marathon will be a prance in the park because it won't. I've likened my past marathon experience as being akin to getting hit by a truck and I fully expect to be slammed head-on by an 18-wheeler somewhere in Huntington Beach on Feb. 6. However, it's just me and the monster now and I can stare at it head on with the confidence that I not only survived this training cycle but came through it strong.
Sunday, I ran 20 miles. It was my second 20-mile run in three weeks, which I think is a first. I ran 18 miles on Dec. 19. I've done several 13-, 14- and 15-mile runs as well over the last few months. So 12 and 10 now seem fairly manageable.
The hardest part about running a marathon is training for one. I've found that out with the two marathons I've run and trained for, and that's given me some calm now because that part is all but over.
The marathon itself will be hard. Challenging. Painful. Grueling. Torturous. But once I push past all that, there will be a medal on the other side, there will be cheers from spectators (and Mrs. LB), there will be glory.
And I've earned the right to be there and indulge in all that.