We are counting down the days now. For so many of you all the hard work and dedication of months of winter training will soon be put to the ultimate test of running. For me it's been a little strange as a follower of your adventures this time rather than a fellow runner. It's given me a different perspective and has made me appreciate the sheer bloody mindedness required, hard graft and sacrifices that we make in readiness for the marathon. When you are involved in this process the commitment begins to become part of your existence, you start to live, breathe and sleep for the marathon because that's what it requires of you. If you stand back as an observer that level of focus and effort commands utter and heartfelt respect. I salute every single one of you about to take on the 26.2 miles in the forthcoming weeks and am so looking forward to being part of London 2014 as a follower and a fan!
I had intended to look back over the previous year of blogs and extract the best motivational quotes from each and every one of you in a montage of Realbuzz inspiration. However, reading back it was just too difficult to do, everything I read could have been used. The blogs and the comments are all filled with such incredible passion and support that it really is almost impossible to begin to isolate certain passages. I recommend that you have a look back through the blogging archives ( particularly back to this time last year ) and read some of the posts to fire you up. It is also good to remind yourselves of your own journey at this point and looking back on your own early blog posts can highlight just how far you have come and how much hard work it has taken to reach this point.
When you wake up on marathon morning have a good long look at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Look into your own eyes and take a couple of minutes to remind yourself of why you are doing this and what you have done to get yourself to the start line. Reflect in those quiet early morning moments on the longest, coldest most arduous of training runs, think of injuries overcome, of early mornings and late night runs. Of the sacrifices made and the reward that awaits.
Finally, the time will come. Thousands will line up, runners from every part of the globe, each with different stories but one shared goal and a pervading sense of mutual respect.
When your race starts
Place each footstep with purpose.
Mark each mile with emotional significance.
Treat each minute with importance.
Make each second really count.
Leave no regrets behind you, scrape out the barrel and finish on empty.
When the race is run and the clock is stopped you have done all you can do. You are a marathon runner and it will hit you. The emotion will pour out of you as the enormity of your achievement and the true warmth of human spirit overwhelms you for a few glorious moments.
Then, when the celebrations have died down, the stories of your race told and retold with aching legs and glowing pride again take a moment to look yourself in the eye in that bathroom mirror. It's a slightly different you.
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