I finished my marathon! And I'm alive! And I ran the entire time! Okay - so I'm really excited about this - can you tell?! I spent 6 hours and 20 minutes today pounding pavement, mostly having fun but also in pain and ready to be done for pretty much ALL of the last TEN miles. To distract from the intermittent pain, I spent time talking to myself and thinking about what this experience has meant to me. I started brainstorming for the blog post I would write and the "10 tips" or lessons I learned (yes, I'm a nerd and my friends made fun of me for it). But then I remembered about the letter I wrote to myself in July, four months ago when I started training, to be read on the day I finished. It's another one of my "sticky goal" techniques that I forgot to mention. In a way it feels really private, but it's also the most meaningful description of how I feel now, post-race. Plus - I'm too exhausted to actually use any new brain cells right now :).

I'll share the letter I wrote to myself if you promise not to crack TOO many jokes about me being schizophrenic:

July 6, 2008 Dear Jenny,

If you are reading this it means you finished a marathon. It means you have crossed into an entirely new realm of possibilities and potential. CONGRATULATIONS!! You must be tired and worn out - and glowing with accomplishment. I can't even imagine how you must be feeling; what I can tell you is what this will mean to me if you finish:

1) That you can do anything - even things that seem scary, impossible and torturous 2) That you pushed beyond all of that, physically and mentally, and through that gained incredible strength, perseverance and toughness. 3) That you are my hero!

From where I sit now (in a coffee shop) I get tears in my eyes when I think about crossing the finish line. I will be so blissfully happy and proud. My longest run was 11 miles this past weekend. I'm nervous about the rest - about the next four months - about keeping my committment. And then I think about the finish line again and I think about crossing over a line that symbolizes a quieting of any remaining self-doubt. I will have crossed the line to greet and embrace a new me - one that can do anything.

Congratulations again on an absolutely enormous accomplishment - now go celebrate and reward yourself!

So I celebrated with a big cheeseburger and fries with some of my closest friends and family. Before I sign-off and zone-out into couch potato land, I also want to say thank you SO much to Julie, Tara, Mark, my Mom and my Dad for cheering me on throughout the race and at the finish line. Your support means the absolute world to me!