The science of running.

I'm running my third marathon on Sunday. An entire 26.2 miles. This has been my thought process since January, when I decided I'd take on the challenge, again: "I'm going to rock this marathon! Four months of training! Plenty!"

"So, maybe it won't be that great..."

"I wonder if I can switch to the half marathon instead?"

"No. I'm running the full. I'll just use it as a training run."

"Am I going to be ready for this?"

"I'm going to go for it. I'm going to run a PR."

"Oh, 26 miles is far."

"No. I'm doing it!"

"Wah."

"NO! DO IT Quit whining!"

And here we are today, five days from race day, and it is a good day. I'm feeling inspired. Ready, even. The best part is I'm hopeful - that I won't die, of course. I feel like I can do this successfully, and be proud of myself when it's over.

I do have a goal for the race. No, I won't share that goal for all of the Internet because it's mine. I need to keep it to myself, and be accountable for myself. I also don't want to explain if I bomb that goal, so it's my little secret.

But trust that I do have motivation.

I also have a plan.

I picked the very smart brains of my trusty Justice League of Triathlon pals this afternoon, and gained some excellent knowledge about making it through to the finish line.

Nutrition on race day is one thing I've never paid close enough attention to. But this time around, I'm going in prepared.

I'll walk through every water station, and I'll hydrate, too. Water only for the first mile, then an alternation between water and Gatorade for every water station thereafter.

I'll take energy gel at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20, and electrolyte replacement tabs at miles 6, 11, 16 and 21.

It's a mental game. At about mile 18, I'm going to want to crawl in a hole. I know it. It happens every time. But I'm going to be ready for it this time. I'm not going to avoid it, or pretend it's not going to happen, because it is. But this time I'll kick its ass. This time I'll know that it's mental, and that if I keep going, the finish line is going to come.

I hope.