Brooks Racer ST-4 shoes, broken-in just enough to be comfortable, not enough to risk getting them dirty. Brooks ID singlet, emblazoned with makeshift Tacoma Runners patch. Brooks Sherpa shorts, appropriately named for the epic journey ahead.
It's all about the kit, the one thing I can control about tomorrow's Tacoma City Marathon. Everything else is unknown. Did I train hard enough? Will I be able to get a decent night's sleep? Will it rain? Will I have to stop and poop at mile 13? Is this dull pain in my knee going to explode mid-run? The days leading up to a marathon are fraught with these worries.
Which is why I'm thankful for Lisa, my biggest supporter and race-day cheerleader, sewing on the club patch. This will surely be good for a 5 second-per-mile boost. Her mere presence somewhere out there on the course, good for another 10. When it really hurts tomorrow, I will think about how she accidentally sewed this singlet to the pillow underneath... and I'll smile.
Tomorrow I will regularly check my dad's old-ass Timex Marathon to see just how far I've fallen off my ridiculously lofty goal. I'll think about the miles it's seen, the splits it has frozen in time, and the man who wore it before me. And my struggles will seem small.
In a little over 12 hours, the gun will fire. Shortly thereafter, the anxiety that's prompting me to now scrutinize every aspect of my training, my nutrition (or lack thereof), and the tiny aches in my legs will... disappear. It will be a battle in which my only allies are a pair of really clean shoes, a singlet sewn with love, and a watch that transmits the energy and wisdom of a dozen marathons before.
It's all about the kit.