Thanksgiving Marathon Eve

Last night I tried a new strategy to get enough sleep before my race. I went to bed at 8 PM, planning to sleep until 10 or so when Boyfriend would come over to hang out. I figured we’d get to bed around 1, which would means I’d still get my 8 hours of sleep. Instead, he got stuck at work and didn’t get to my place until after midnight. We still went to bed around 1, so I ended up getting 11 hours of sleep! I hoped that would make me feel a bit better.

However, I still woke up feeling tired and icky today – I wanted to sleep the rest of the day. I was dreading going to Atlanta, and most of all, I was dreading running the marathon. A marathon is freaking long! And to add more stress, the time limit tomorrow is 5 hours, so there is very little room for error if I’m tired. It’s pretty nervewracking to think I might go all the way down there and not be able to check Georgia off my list.

On my way to the airport, I tripped a little bit on the escalator, and my first fleeting thought was, “maybe if I get hurt I won’t be able to do the race.” What’s happening there? There have been times when I haven’t wanted to go out for a training run, but I can’t ever remember not wanting to do a race this badly, and not being excited by the thought of running in a new place.

But despite all my misgivings, to the airport and on the plane I went. In the time between pushback and cruising altitude when you can’t use your laptop, I continued my read of Bart Yasso’s biography, My Life on the Run. While doing this, I hit on an amazing passage that Bart wrote after completing a bike trip across America.

“Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about some aspect of that trip. My relationship with maps has changed, too. I no longer see dots and squiggles when I look at the path I traveled. I see cowboys and mountains, cornfields and corner stores, Pizza Huts, swirling rivers, and strangers who became friends. And I see myself, connected by the thread of memory to it all.”

I have to admit, I got a little teary reading that. That’s what I love about running marathons. I love that I’m getting to go to all fifty states, and while I’m not getting to see every town and every nook and cranny, I’m getting to see a lot of really cool places. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m just flying in for a race and flying out, and not getting to do the tourist thing and seeing all the sights, but then I realize something: I’m running 26.2 miles through the town. What better way is there to see the world than that?

I’m having two Thanksgivings this year. One is tomorrow, after the marathon, in Atlanta. The second is Saturday, with my mom and Boyfriend in New York City. On Saturday I will be thankful for my friends and family. But tomorrow, I will be thankful for running.


  1. Good luck, Laura, and enjoy your double Thanksgiving.

  2. YOU GO GIRL!!!

    I am rooting for you and i know you will have a blast running Atlanta marathon!!! Be safe and just have fun!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Laura!!

  3. Laura this is a great post, save it for your book! Good luck tomorrow!

  4. Are you staying in Atlanta overnight? Let me know if you need any recommendations of restaurants or anything about the city. To warn you, this marathon has very few spectators. I guess because it’s on Thanksgiving. But the weather here is supposed to be perfect on Thursday. Probably in the 50s.

  5. I love how you are brutally honest about your feelings on running the marathons. There’s lots of ups and downs with any worthwhile accomplishment. I hope you have more ups, than downs.

  6. AWESOME post!!! I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow!!! Have a great race and a Happy Thanksgiving!
    *just think, most people can live in the same city their WHOLE life and NEVER run 26.2 miles in it, look at what you can do!!!!

  7. I haven’t been around lately so I just read the last 15 or so posts, haha. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been stressed lately and hope things work out for the better. Good luck with the marathon tomorrow and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  8. Good luck!! Enjoy your run through Atlanta and two Thanksgivings. I’ll think of you while I do my measly little 5K Turkey Trot LOL.

  9. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. I hope the race goes well and gives you a chance to remember how much you love doing them. Things will get better soon and happy double thanksgiving.

  11. Good luck, and have an awesome Thanksgiving(s)!!

  12. >Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m just flying in for a race and flying out, and not getting to do the tourist thing and seeing all the sights, but then I realize something: I’m running 26.2 miles through the town. What better way is there to see the world than that?

    I feel EXACTLY the same way!! When people ask if I’ve been to a place, sometimes I have to say “well, I went to an expo, and an Italian restaurant…”. But then I have to think, without the marathon I may have never gone at all! And as you say, 26.2 miles is a good amount of a town I never would have seen otherwise!

    I hope you feel better after the marathon. Sounds like you’re pretty burned out – maybe you need a bit of a break? I took some time off before my fall marathon, and I can tell you, I CRAVED the distance! I really looked forward to it, seeing what I could accomplish. Sounds like maybe you need that rejuvenation? (Plus, you need to get healthy!! Marathoning is really not a good option for weight management..)

  13. Good luck in Atlanta – but be careful with the hills :) They are killer in the ATL!!

    Let me know when you are interested in a Florida Race!

    Have a good Thanksgiving!!


  14. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you have a great race.

  15. Laura, I’m with Andrea — it sounds like you’re starting to burn out a bit. You have an entire lifetime to run marathons; don’t feel you need to run them all right now! Perhaps taking a month or two off (after Disney, of course!) will be just what you need to recharge. Regardless, I’m wishing you happy and fast thoughts for today’s race!

  16. I agree that maybe a little bit of a break could do you some good, girl . . . it will remind you how much you LOVE marathoning, and I’m sure your body wouldn’t mind the rest. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic . . . but maybe a month or two? BUT, that being said, I hope that today goes really well for you!! I’m rooting for ya back in NYC :)

  17. Good race and a nice time!.
    Groet Rinus.

  18. good luck, hope it goes well!

  19. Hope the race went well this morning!!! I had a race this fall that I found myself dreading, but you get there you and you remember why you Love it. Can’t wait to read the race re-cap!

  20. What a great post. Fantastic attitude! Travel safe, have fun, good luck, and happy thanksgiving.

  21. So that makes this how many marathons in the last little while?
    You’re totally an inspiration:)

    I’m sure you rocked the marathon!

    Enjoy your double thanksgiving.

  22. hope you did well today! i ran atl too today and those hills were killer!!! happy thanksgiving and congrats on another marathon!

  23. Laura,

    You Rock! I hope you feel better and that you are able to color in a bunch more states in the near future.


  24. awww, that is a great post. I hope you had an awesome thanksgiving!

  25. I’m so glad, reading this a few days later, that Atlanta went well despite your advance trepidations. By the way, I really enjoyed reading Life on the Run also, and did you notice (not that you would have any reason to) that his cross country bike trip started in Everett, WA, which is the town where I live? :)

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