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26.2 miles.

It should make a person nervous. No, seriously. It’s not a distance to take lightly – whether it’s your first, your eighth or your fiftieth.

I have always been nervous going into a marathon.

Truth is though, I’ve got nothing this time around. Oh, I’m sure I will have a rush of “nervous energy” minutes before the start, but right now? 24 hours before the start of the 2011 New York City Marathon? Sitting on a train heading from Boston to New York?

Nothing.

Zip.

Nada.

The only thing stressing me out right now is whether I’m gonna manage to pick up my bib at the Javits Center, pick up a key to my cousin’s apartment AND make it to Grandpa DD’s birthday party in Connecticut on time or not this afternoon…and THEN make back into the City this evening to get a decent night’s sleep before tomorrow’s run.

But the race?

The marathon?

No nerves. No stress.

Nothing.

I’m just looking forward to a fun four to five hours – planning on completing my run in 3:45 – 3:55 and then heading back to mile 23 to run in my dear friend Jersey who is running her first marathon and starting an hour after I do (if you haven’t donated to Autism Speaks yet and want to, you should support her run —>HERE<—).

And I think that’s why there are no nerves this time around. It’s pure fun. Pure joy. I am not gunning to re-BQ. I am not shooting for a PR. For the first time ever, I am simply running 26.2 miles for the pure, simple joy of running a marathon. Sure there will be moments of doubt. Yes, there will be miles where I wonder what I am doing. There will be some pain. That is inevitable when you run this distance.

But the bottom line is, I get to enjoy every mile, every step, every inch as I travel through one of the greatest cities in the world.

As a runner, I cannot ask for anything more.

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