We are in the purple corral which means we will start last. I have some awesome pants and shirt that used to belong to my nephew that I am going to wear right up to the start over my running clothes to stay warm. I'm glad that the race volunteers will collect all of the discarded clothes and donate them.
After some thought about the weather and some input from Coach Jodi I have decided on running capris and a tank with a long-sleeved shirt. Easy to take the shirt off and tie around my waist if I get warm, and to put it back on if I get cold. I'm going to wear my =PR= training shirt that I've worn for almost every long run this training cycle. Wearing it makes me feel confident.
I've got a couple of mantras in mind for the race. My first mantra is "trust your training". I've done the work. My program was solid, and I followed it closely. My coaches are awesome. I've run 10 miles or more twice. Both times at a pace that was fast enough to finish before the 2:20 course cutoff.
My second mantra is "run for Stu". Stuart lost his battle with ALS earlier this year. He bravely shared his journey with us. Bringing us insights into his experiences. Connecting with us. Showing us how to live in the moment, appreciate life. Stuart touched my life in ways that I was unable to express to him. Near the end I wanted to tell him I would run Cherry Blossom in his honor. But I was afraid to make that commitment, afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep it. I couldn't put it in writing. Stuart, I run for you. I honor you. I miss your presence in this world. Run for Stu.