Running a Marathon

So you decided to run a marathon after reading THIS

Then you took on the training after reading THIS

But now, it's time to run the race...

My advice:
- You've trained hard.  Trust that you are ready.  Don't fear 26.2.
- Try everything out ahead of time.  Something that is a very small issue can amplify 100x of the duration of the run.
- Look at the course map and elevation map and know what to expect.  A hill is easier to take if you know when it starts and ends.  Know where your course might part and merge from those running other distances.
- It's a long way to run.  Don't go out the gate without a plan.  Plan your nutrition, plan your pace, set goals, plan walk breaks if you feel you need them. 
- Know that there's a 99% chance that something won't go as planned.  Stay calm, take it in stride, and move past it.
- A positive attitude will get you through the last 6.2.  I am convinced that saying "I can't" will make your legs feel at least 20 lbs heavier.  Keep your eye on the finish and remember that even if you aren't meeting your time goal, you are going 26.2 amazing miles.  Enjoy the experience and remind yourself of your accomplishment.
- Celebrate the finish line.  No matter what your time.  No matter what went wrong.  No matter how bad you ache.  You ran 26.2 miles.  That is a long way to go... probably across your town and a couple more!  Whether the race was great or crappy - you earned the right to join the 1% of the population that are marathoners!

What to expect:
- Nerves.  No matter how prepared you are.
- Confidence.  That today is your day.
- Moments of feeling amazing.
- Moments where you are certain a leg might fall off or that your intestines are trying out for Olympic gymnastics.
- Trying to weave around those in front of you.
- Times you are sure there are a million people passing you.
- Times of feeling alone.
- Being overwhelmed by the sights and sounds that surround you.

- Enjoyment from watching other runners - funny shirts, silly outfits, amazing accomplishments, overheard conversations, crazy music blaring too loud on earphones.
- Annoyance by the most ridiculous minor things.  Everything seems amplified when you are enduring 26.2 miles.
- Ups and downs.  "I can" and "I can't"s.
- Times when you look at your Garmin, quite literally, every 0.01 mile.

- A finish line.  There will be a point where you think they might have moved it to a different country, but you will eventually get there.