Happy Halloween.

On this day that is full of snack food, candy, and other fun treats, I have no appetite.

This could be good for my training. But probably not. I’ve got some serious carb loading to do.

So, here we go. We leave on the train early tomorrow morning to make the 3 hour trek to NYC. I haven’t even set foot in the city and already my stomach turns and my heart beats fast. I’ve worked hard for this. I’ve looked forward to this. Other than my family, this has been my focus.

Run a marathon.

Unless something out of the ordinary happens, I’m about to get my chance.

This afternoon I tried my darndest to get some pasta salad down. It was a lot of work. I know my biggest hurdle is my head. It always has been and always will be. Me and my head, we need to work together to make this happen. Of course my biggest goal is to finish and then make some good memories of running through New York City with 50,000 other people.

A few months ago as I was planning for this day, I was driving along and it hit me. This date. This time of year. What was it? And then I knew. The day I run is the day that marks Dalina two years gone. That day changed me forever. Every once in a while I will drive by hospice and remember that time. But, most memories didn’t take place there, we had so much fun before things got bad. I remember Dalina calling me when Drew was running the Baltimore marathon. She wanted to know how to track him, she wanted to be part of the experience, even from her living room chair. The voicemail she left on my phone stayed with me for several months. At the time it was a comfort to just to look down, see her name and know I could hear her voice one more time.

I’m surprising myself how the tears are coming so easily as I remember. It’s the meaning of the day and it hasn’t been lost on me. On Sunday when the going gets rough I’ll be remembering my friend. I will remember her smile, her laugh and her will to live. I will also remember her grace in dying.

Ok now. Counting down the hours. Gonna do this.

And when it is ALL over on Sunday evening I will be raising my Pumpkin Spice Latte to DW, grateful for her life and the impact on my own that still lives on.

(And for the image below, unstoppable is a strong word.  But for this weekend, I’m gonna do my best to own it.)