Tomorrow morning, I will achieve a goal I’ve thought about for nearly 15 years.

Months before my 30th birthday, I stepped up my running and began training for a full marathon. My goal at the time was to run a marathon prior to my milestone birthday. I remember waking up before work and running nearly every day, until the morning I woke up feeling queasy and stayed in bed, instead. I put my marathon dreams on hold when I found out I was pregnant with our first child.

Now I’m almost 43 and my oldest daughter is nearly 13. I’ve run 3 half marathons in the intervening years but never run a full marathon.

I started training for this race just after Christmas and I’ve received so much encouragement and support — it’s been truly amazing.

I asked my Twitter and Facebook friends for some last minute encouragement and advice and I thought I’d share some here, to remind myself as I mentally prepare and to encourage any of you, who are training, planning, or dreaming of a marathon.

  • Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  •  Remind yourself why you are doing it and how far you’ve come.
  •  People succeed because they give up what they want right now in favor of what they want the most.
  • Completion is victory. It’s not about how fast you go. Do your best and you are a winner!
  •  Stay hydrated and stay cool.
  • Go get em.
  • Aim high on the road…
  • You are lighter than air. We are wind on back!
  • Stick to your plan – race day adrenaline can trip people up causing them to go out too fast.  
  • Trust your training!
  • When you hit those spots and need a little mental push, pick someone in front of you and make your goal simply to catch up and pass him or her. Then pick your next target…and your next target. Amazing how just having that little goal puts a little more energy when you think you have little in the tank. 
  •  Just finish. It’s okay to have a time goal, but just focus on finishing.
  • Feed the positive dog.
  • Just do it.
  • No one is given their destiny, you must choose your destiny.
  • Remember that God is your strength.
  • Find joy in the journey!
  • When it starts to hurt (and it will). When your mind starts to fatigue (and it tries to convince you to stop). Simply remember this, “Pain is temporary, pride is forever”
  • Run, Forrest, Run!
  • You can used to anything, even hangin’, if you live long enough!
  •  The only one who can tell you “you can’t” is you, and you don’t have to listen.
  • You’ll burn like 30,000 calories which means you can pretty much eat what you want for a year.
  • One foot in front of the other.
  • Remember, the finish line is proof of your strength.
  • There are two kinds of pain in the world, sacrifice or regret. You choose.
  • I don’t give up when I’m tired, I give up when I’m done.
  • Do it for those who no longer can.

Yesterday, I got my last bit of encouragement, via a text message from my nephew: a favorite scripture.

And though I may be running my marathon on my own, I will not be alone! I am surrounded by all of you, and when I run strong, it will be with your encouragement whispering in my ears. Thank you!

P.S. Big thanks to Brian Sooy (author of Raise Your Voice) for the beautiful graphic!