Posted by: deerharas | February 9, 2008


It is an incredibly beautiful day.  A day that naturally lends itself to a long run, and I am elated to be on the other side of twelve miles – further than I’ve ever run in my life.  I couldn’t have imagined better conditions for such a feat.  The air was cool but not cold, the wind almost nonexistent, the sun bright but not glaring.  I was hydrated, carb-loaded and halfway well rested. The stars were aligned. Add to the mix my fabulous running partner and the fact that some of our friends happened to drive by honking/waving/yelling for us at about four miles and then again at six; it felt almost like a real race day. 

About halfway in to our run I started thinking about race day.  At last year’s marathon (where I ran the half) I stood at the starting line beside a girl about my age running her first marathon.  Her face revealed a mix of anticipation and excitement along with some obvious nervousness.  Her boyfriend or coach spoke encouragement over her, reminding her that this day was nothing to worry about.  She had prepared well, and the training was the hardest part.  Her job was to enjoy this day and let it be the crowning achievement of all the work she had already put in. 

Last month I saw Spirit of the Marathon, a documentary chronicling the training and then races of six runners participating in the 2005 Chicago marathon.  The documentarians chose an eclectic bunch.  There was a 70 year old repeat marathoner training and running with his first time participant daughter.  There was an elite Kenyan, hoping to finally take first in Chicago after two or three previous attempts.  There was an Olympic bronze medal winner hoping to win her first marathon ever.  And then there was me.  Well, for all intents and purposes she could have been me.  A 26 year old runner, she was planning to run her first marathon ever after having completed a half the previous year.  Something she said on race morning stuck out to me, and in light of the day of grace which was today, I am cautioned to remember that not all running days are quite so gracious. 

As she got ready to head out for her first 26.2, she prepared mentally for the possibility of failure.  Now that may sound defeatist, but I was encouraged and even inspired by her honesty and realism.  She had prepared well.  She put in the effort – all the long runs and speed work and cross training.  She was ready.  But sometimes things are out of our hands.  All the factors that made today a great running day for me could have easily gone the other way.  There’s the possibility that come April 27th it could be freezing or worse, sweltering.  The wind may blow as a formidable opponent.  I could get sick.  I could pull a muscle.  Chances are that race day will fall somewhere between the extremes of utopian bliss and all out disaster.  But I know, just like my Spirit of the Marathon kindred spirit, that whatever external factors stack up against me, my failure won’t be because I’m unprepared.  

Because on April 27th, I will be ready. 



  1. hello sarah, i know it will be weird to enter in your personal url and see a comment of a unkown girl but i was searching on google ‘do you love me’ ‘gilmore girls’, ’cause i want to see the lyrics of the music that kirk sings on a 5th season episode and i accidently came here, probably you don’t ever remember the post that you publish the lyrics but i want to thank you cause i got what i wanted, and since i was here i search for others quotes and citations about GG and, I don’t know, but i really liked the way you wrote about Squeegee Beckinheim, and i just want to tell you that .


    p.s.: i probably did some mistakes but that’s becase english isnt my first language, i’m from brazil.

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