Since my visit to the church at mile 18, I have been feeling especially spiritual.
Here is my prayer (plea) to the marathon gods. Feel free to use it for your marathon effort as well.
Dear Marathon gods (and I do know there has to be more than one of you to get me through this ordeal):
I don't ask for much, but if you could see to it that the following criteria are met leading up to and on my event in Baltimore (enter city) on October 16, 2010 (enter date) I sure would appreciate it:
1. Please keep me from injury from now until my event. This includes, but not limited to, any mishaps on my last training runs, any stupid klutzy injuries resulting from day to day activities (as in tripping down stairs, walking into walls, etc.), any other random accidents and the like.
2. Please keep my health intact in these last couple weeks before the marathon. I will do my best to Lysol, Clorox wipe and bleach the crap out of my house, wipe down every door handle and light switch and hand sanitize like a motha around germy children, but I may need you to intervene.
3. Please assist in maintaining my sanity while I taper and keep me true to the taper. When Hal says "3 miles" that means just 3 miles. Nothing more.
4. Please help me so I don't eat my family out of house and home. Help me recognize that I am tapering so there is no need for me to stand in front of an open fridge every hour on the hour.
5. On that note, please help me make smart nutritional choices that will be good fuel for the race. Steer me towards whole wheat bread and not beer. Grapes and not wine. Peanut butter and not peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies. You get the drift.
6. Please let me get to Baltimore (enter city) with no issues. No delays and no lost luggage. Hotel room in order and ready on time. Packet pickup runs smoothly. Look, my type A self will already be on level "orange". No need to bump it up to "red" quite yet.
7. The weather. I can't talk to you enough about the weather. Here is what I am aiming for: overcast, with the sun peeking out just as we cross the finish line. Dry with no humidity and absolutely NO precipitation. I mean it. None. Race start time temp around 55. Finish temp mid 60s. After that, feel free to do whatever the heck you want Mother Nature.
8. Please let me pick out the appropriate clothing to wear for above said weather without bringing my entire closet to Baltimore (enter city). If you comply with #7, you can skip fulfilling this request.
9. Please let mile 20 feel like mile 5. I know this is asking a lot but I have faith.
10. Please do not allow me to pee in my pants, poop in my pants, vomit, snot, drool, dry heave, or emit any other bodily functions inappropriately throughout the run. In fact, if I could keep all bodily fluids inside my body for the duration, that would be fabulous.
11. Please let there be lots of cheering smiling faces encouraging us along the way. If I look like hell, please forgive them for lying to me when they tell me I "look strong" or "look great".
12. That being said, please do not allow said fans to say at mile 24-25.5 that "you don't have much further to go!". If there are fans that feel the need to utter these words, please place them at miles 26 through 26.1 when I truly do not have much more to run. I mean it.
13. Please let me finish the race with a smile on my face and without collapsing after the finish. If I could actually run across the finish line that would be super, but I am not beneath crawling across it. And please, DO NOT let someone pushing a double jogger stroller with 2 heavy preschool children in it and/or an 80 year old granny pass me just before I finish. It could ruin the moment.
14. Please apply this prayer to any of my girls/guys running this marathon with me, or doing one on another day.
15. Please give me the will to want to run again after this endeavor.
Thank you. I hope I am not asking too much. Amen.