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“My last Saturday run as a non-marathoner.” That was the silly little thought that kept popping into my head this morning on an easy 8-miler.

It got me excited. Which made me run faster. Which reminded me: I’ve got to keep a lid on it next week.

See, I’ve lived in this body long enough and used it to run enough half-marathons to know that I can be a little excitable. I wouldn’t say I’m an adrenaline junkie, but I probably could, if we are being honest. Races are always exciting to me (I’m a true extrovert–I get energized being around all those people. MY PEOPLE! MY RUNNER PEOPLE!!!). However, the Rock and Roll series is made to be even more exciting than most–that’s one reason we pay through the nose for the fees, right? But I know I’m highly susceptible to feeling SO GOOD at the beginning that I COULDN’T POSSIBLY slow down!!! And then of course surging ahead to a new PR crashing as the adrenaline wears off. So I worked on doing this today:

Cute, huh? I think I need this t-shirt, don’t you? My training partner has one and I would like to copycat her on it.

I did think a lot on this run about who and what I will think about next week during the race. That’ll be another blog post in the next few days. I’m planning on a pain plan similar to this one to deal with the hurt of the marathon, and central to that will be thinking about the people who have inspired, supported, and motivated me. There will also be prayer, and the other thing I practiced today: looking around and ENJOYING THIS RUN. Today the sun was glinting above the tree tops as I got started, and it was so lovely. There will be buildings and historic places and so many people to see next week, as well as God’s glory to observe. As I attacked a hill today I thought of what a wonderful woman I go to church with says often:

“I won’t let Satan steal my joy.”

We experience a lot of hills and a lot of pain in life because of Satan. If you’ll allow me to make a physical running/running the race to heaven analogy: Next week, I will not let hills steal my joy. I will not let pain steal my joy. I will run through them and be thankful, so thankful I am able.