To the me at mile 19,
My guess is you're not going to be particularly happy and comfortable. Your bum hip is likely to hurt from from the start, and who knows, by mile 19, you might be hurting symmetrically. Maybe you'll have just barely swallowed the last gel, or maybe you'll be re-tasting the first two.
Either way, my speculation about you not being particularly happy and comfortable isn't really speculation at all. More like a foregone conclusion. No maybes involved.
But there are some things I want to say to you, things you'll need to remember, things you'll need to hear in your head as you crest heartbreak hill in mile 20.
So I'll say them now.
To get ready for this race, you ran for 2.5 hours in sub zero temps and 3 inches of snow.
You ran hills that stretched for a mile, plodded out countless mind-numbing miles on a treadmill, and ran nearly 80 laps (20 miles!) around a track.
You battled a hip injury, winced through many a workout, did your PT exercises until your glutes disowned you.
You ran whether you felt like it or not.
You endured pool running when your hip needed a break.
You struggled against age and injury and fatigue and you emerged.
READY TO RUN BOSTON.
You've got this.
You deserve to be here.
You fought to be here.
Now fight to the finish.
And I mean FIGHT.
You didn't get up at 5:30 am to run 80 laps around a track for grins and giggles.
You didn't don a dozen layers and brave an hour on the trail in -5 degree temps so you could fit into your skinny jeans.
You did all the hard stuff so you'd be ready for THESE minutes. All 210 (or more) of them.
So BE in each minute and STAY in each mile.
(Can you believe it? You're in mile 19 of BOSTON right now! How amazing is THAT? And ok, probably also painful. But mostly just amazing, right?)
I know you think you're a poser.
(I have the distinct advantage of being in your head, so don't deny it.)
I know the sandbagging, crutch-wielding coward that lives within, the one you battle in every race, with every new goal.
Yes, it's "just" a hobby.
Yes, you're "just" a mid-pack runner.
Yes, this is "just" a race, one you don't have to win to put food on the table.
But however silly you feel admitting it, I know how much it means to you.
You worked hard to get here, and now you're here.
It's okay if it feels like a big deal to you.
Because it IS a big deal.There's no "just"-ing the Boston Marathon.
So finish this beast.
Open it up and unleash every last bit of what you have in that final 10k.
No saving, sandbagging, minimizing, hedging, or "just"-ing.
And definitely no stopping.
You've got this.
So go get it.