I am going to run the Cleveland Marathon in 26 days. Today I'll run 21 miles as part of the preparation for that race. Its a cold, wet, gray, and windy day here in Chicago. Not ideal weather for such a long run, but it fits my mood this morning and I don't know that I'd change it if I could. My right heel is a little sore, and there is a general tightness in my legs. I've been putting a lot of pressure on my body while training. Running faster and further than usual. Lifting more. Swimming more. Doing more stairs, speed-work, and yoga.
But that part of the process is nearing the end. After today I still have runs of 12 and 16 miles left, as well as a number of 8 mile runs. And I've got more trips to the gym and the yoga studio. But the downhill stretch to the Starting Line begins after today's run.
This is my fifth full marathon. Each of the four preceding marathons have had a distinctly different feel, and this one does too. I feel salty. I feel strong. I'm sitting in my apartment, looking out of my kitchen window, and I can almost see Cleveland from here. I'm gonna swallow this race whole. I'm ready to run.