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I’ll be channeling those timeless words of wisdom from Wilson Phillips this weekend while we run our 5th and final marathon in the Marathon Madness series of five marathons in sixteen days. This song was also my theme song during the final days of hiking both the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007 and the Appalachian Trail in 2011, as I tried to enjoy the last moments of those trails yet still make it through unscathed.
That too will be the plan for this upcoming weekend: to finish respectfully, yet not hurt too much. My goal is to be under 4 hours and under 3:50 if I’m feeling good, so that I will have finished all of them under 4 hours. We at least have an additional day of rest as compared to last weekend, as the marathon is on Sunday rather than Saturday.
Just to recap, we are running the Ocala Marathon in Ocala, Florida. It’s supposed to be a pretty course with rolling hills out in the horse country. I’m just hoping it’s not too hilly, and that if it is country roads we’re running on, that it’s not too windy. Not only do I not want to fight to run in one direction, but I also don’t exactly want to smell the horses as I run by them. I have a hard enough time choking down gu during the race without the scent of horse poop to hinder me.
With those thoughts in mind, it is with sadness and excitement that we approach this final marathon. Sadness because our time with Jeff is coming to an end, as he flies out of the Jacksonville Airport just a few hours after the race, and sadness for Jeff because he is leaving the Snowbird country of the South for Madison, Wisconsin, where they know what real winter has to offer. I do not envy his travel plans at all.
It is also with excitement that we come into this marathon, as it will feel good to have accomplished this crazy string of marathons in not-too-shabby of a fashion, if I might say so. All of us have run way better than expected, especially on the second marathons of each weekend. Right now, all of us feel pretty refreshed despite last weekend, and all feel ready to take on the 26.2 distance once again. I’ll also throw in there that I secretly want to beat Jeff again. Watch out Jeff!
Lastly, while this is our last marathon, it’s certainly not our last race. Matt and I will be pursuing redemption and a belt buckle in the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile trail run on February 5th in Hunstville, TX. So while there is celebration to be had for completing marathon madness, reality will remind us that we still have a really long race to run just 2 weeks after the Florida marathon. But, that thought will not be on my mind this weekend, as the only mantras going through my head will be, “Hold On for One More Day” and “Beat Jeff!”