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  1. I started running after my dog, Monster, passed away. Tomorrow would have been his birthday.
  2. It is a gorgeous fall weekend in DC, and the alternative would be sleeping in and missing it.
  3. It is the biggest running event in the area every year, and I get to be part of it.
  4. Several of my friends are coming down to different spots on the course and planning to run with me – I can’t be dragging or crying.
  5. My best friend tells me I’m the most stubborn person she knows, and she works with children. I can’t prove her wrong!
  6. For all my friends who are tracking me via phone, I need to show at least a 10K update.
  7. I get to have beers and listen to amazing music on my deck with my friend Laila later, but only if I finish.
  8. I get to miss work on Monday, but only if I finish.
  9. Chocolate Oreo milkshake.
  10. Around this point in the course is the heart of DC, and how many times have I run past the Kennedy Center? I could do this in my sleep.
  11. My friend has already told me he’s jumping in at mile 11 to run with me a little bit.
  12. My best friend is SO ready to cheer me on, I woke up to a text cheering me on because she thought the race was today.
  13. My parents are coming back from Las Vegas where they spent the week helping my mom’s parents out. They’ve been through a lot and are going through a lot. If they can go through all of that, I can do this.
  14. On that note, my parents are also planning to get off a plane from Vegas and come downtown to fight the MCM crowds the following morning just to support me. I can’t make them come all the way down and then quit.
  15. I know at least one person who would absolutely LOVE to see me fail. Eat it.
  16. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t solve chemical equations, I can’t cure cancer, I can’t even drive well. But I CAN run a marathon.
  17. I’m totally taking the longest nap of my life after this in my bright, clean bedroom with my sweet, cuddly cat.
  18. My 13.1 bumper sticker needs a friend in the shape of 26.2.
  19. If I get this far, I better damn well Beat the Bridge.
  20. I get a ticket for a post-race beer and I think this time for the first time I might just cash in on it.
  21. I already warned my coworkers that if I finish, I’m wearing my medal all week. Better go get that medal.
  22. People have crossed mountains with gangrene after watching their families get killed just to find refuge in other countries; I can run a marathon.
  23. These Marines are in those countries risking their lives – for God knows how many reasons – but they’re also out here supporting us runners. Don’t be a whiny baby in front of the Marines.
  24. My hug from Daddy is gonna be the biggest, biggest bear hug ever.
  25. No one can ever take away the title of a Marathoner.
  26. Pop Pop Mike, who served in the Marine Corps, and has two Purple Hearts, can’t make it to the race. He is the toughest person in the world. Finish for your US Marine Pop Pop.

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26.2 – OORAH.

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