1. I don't think I can do this. Okay, maybe I can. No, definitely cannot. Oh, but I'm gonna. There are so many opportunities to doubt yourself on a two-plus-hour-long run. And just when you think everything is fine, you of course have another chance to doubt yourself, five miles later.
2. Playlist, playlist, why have you forsaken me? You may have spent an entire day (or two) fine-turning your three hours of motivational songs, but somehow that beat-dropping, pump-up music eventually just makes you want to throw your iPhone against the pavement.
3. If I start this run now, can I possibly get to work time? You missed a long run that was scheduled on your marathon training plan. Now what? Squeeze it in before work? Yeah, as long as you wake up at 3 a.m., no problem.
4. If I simply run faster, this will be over sooner...but running faster is not going to happen. That sweet feeling when you realize the time you spend pounding the pavement is all determined by how you quickly move your little feet, which is followed by the sad feeling that if you speed up you might face-plant in the next five strides.
5. Oh my gosh. My hips. My hips. Every pound on the pavement makes you feel like your hip socket just might come unscrewed.
6. I'm high. On running. That runner euphoria? Oh, you are sailing through that feeling from miles five through about 10.
7. Mile 10! Halfway there!
8. Why did I sign up for this marathon again? Seriously, no human should ever have to run this far. It's just so unnecessary. This was supposed to be some confidence-boosting, crazy self-loving experience, and that is the furthest from how you feel by mile 14.
9. How long has it been since I took in calories? Ah, too much time, you realize. Gummies, where you at?
10. Oh look, my running buddy! You just passed mile nine and that amazing friend of yours has faithfully shown up to help you stay strong for the next five miles-ish.
11. JUICE BAR. Is it cheating if I just pop in there really fast? No matter how much you tell yourself that you actually like Gatorade, you don't, and your fave green juice is looking really delicious right about now.
12. Left knee, do not fail me now! You just started running a slight downward slope, but that little adjustment is making any small knee problem rear its ugly head.
13. Ow, my neck. Pretty much every single muscle and bone in your body has started to hurt by mile 17.
14. Do I still have my keys? Sheer panic rises through you as you realize that you cannot possibly track your steps over 20 miles to find anything you may have dropped. Reaching around to feel into your zippered running pack, you sigh with relief—yep, still there.
15. Ugh, my phone's dead. No matter how much you try to charge it in full beforehand, there's no way it will last the full run.
16. Chaaaaffffingggggggg. Ouch! Those shorts are not going to work on marathon day. Way too much friction happening between those legs, and not the good kind.
17. These shoes are a God-send. You quickly become grateful that you had your feet measured for the perfect running shoe. You feel like you could run on water in them.
18. I really, really, really have to pee. One of the most unwelcome feelings after you've been responsibly hydrating is that you desperately need to take a pit stop. But you power through. You’re almost there.
19. Cannot. Stop. Running. Just when you're nearing the end of your run, you think the relief will come. But then you realize that's when the pain really starts. So you keep on keepin' on and slowly ease yourself to a slow stop.
20. Oh my gosh. I did it. I ran 20 miles. I can do anything. Legitimate. You rock.