Race day is tomorrow.
I've made it though the last eight weeks without getting a cold, or getting injured. I've completed my training programme, and I've enjoyed it. I've got my running kit and fuelling sorted out. I've planned how to get to the start line, and packed my post-race bag. After 10 hours sleep last night, I've spent today resting, not getting dehydrated and stretching. Later on I'll load up my ipod with podcasts and eat my last two, carefully planned post-race meals.
Today's been more about mental strength than any other day in the last 8 weeks.
Change in the Weather: The last week has been sunny and hot, which is extremely rare in Edinburgh. As I run before 7am, I'm not accustomed to running in warm weather - in fact, this week was the first time this year I've run without a jacket! Where I live, by the coast, sunny days are usually preceeded by a good few hours of haar before the sunshine kicks in, so early runs are invariably cool, even in summer.
Today: When I woke up at 7am today the sun was beaming through the house. I went from asleep to hysterical in about five minutes flat. I couldn't think about anything else all morning - how the hell was I going to cope with running in those conditions? I was panicking. When I got some time to myself I did my best to distract myself (recollecting my most amazing night at Club Bellydance on Thursday night!) and trying to surround myself with postive thoughts instead of panic.
The Bright Side: The forecast for tomorrow is for early fog, and the temperatures are not as warm as today, only 16 degrees. Most of the marathon course is coastal so there should be a nice breeze (in different weather I'd be more worried about the wind!) There's going to be loads of water stations, and I'll take my running bottle with me too. I've run in heat before - last year's Haddington Half Marathon was practically mediterranean, and I survived that (although it wasn't a pretty sight!) And I bet lots of locals living along the marathon route will be spraying us with their garden hoses - they did that last year and it wasn't even all that hot!!
My goals: I want No Negative Thoughts to creep in, and I want to Stay Positive throughout. I was hoping to finish in 4 hours 30minutes but if the weather makes me slower, so be it. I'll aim for 9m45s/mile. I want to keep running the whole race and I want to finish strong. I'm going to be thinking of how good I'll feel when I cross that finish line, and how amazing it'll be to meet the other Leith Primary School runners in The Parlour later on, having completed my first marathon. I'll be thinking of pizza later, and fish, chips and icecream with my daughter (which we've promised ourselves as a post-marathon treat for weeks!)
The Pep Talk: I have what it takes to run this marathon. I have trained and prepared for this marathon. I will give this race all I have, and leave it all out there on the course - no point in taking anything home with me. It will be hard, but I've done things that are hard before, and succeeded.
Bring it on!!