More specifically, let's run 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York City.

If you think that sounds like fun, you must have the same mental problem that I have.  If you've read this blog, you know I have a love/hate relationship with running.  I enjoy having a training plan and something to keep me active and accountable, but I rarely enjoy the actual running.  I tolerate it, kinda, but I keep doing it.  You regular readers will also remember that I was supposed to run the NYC marathon last year, but some dummy named Sandy screwed that all up.

After the disappointment from the cancellation settled in, we decided to try again this year.  In that time, we also had Stone, and will be leaving the boys for the longest time we've been away from them ever (insert sadface emoticon here).  So with hindsight, was this the smartest decision of all time?  Heck no.  But we committed.  I dragged out of bed well before the sun during the week, and got up and out early for the Saturday long runs so I didn't miss out on half of the day with the fam.  Was it easy?  Heck no.  But we did it, and now it's game time.

This is it!  Less than 24 hours before we head to the big city, looking back on what has undoubtedly been the most challenging, drawn out, and expensive race preparation EVER.  Since I started training for this race, I've started my watch at mile 0 just under 200 times and have logged just over 1,100 miles.  And shoes?  Yeah, I've burned through some of those too.

Those yellow thangs are the 2012 NYC Marathon special edition shoes.  They have all kinds of NYC details on them and I'm excited to put them to good use on the streets where they were meant to run.  What you can't see very well in that pic is the extra, EXTRA special additions to my kicks.  On those Saturday mornings when I got up and out before everyone was awake, Ruth Ann would always tell Avett that Dad went for a run.  Avett's take on that was "Dad ruuuuuuummmmmmm!", but that's morphed into "Run Dada!", which is awesome.  And when I got home from those runs, Ruth Ann would ask why I continued to do this to myself, and what did I do/think about when I was running for hours?  I largely blank out, but sometimes do need a little self-talk to push through the tough spots.  While there is some cursing involved in the little pep talks I give myself, "you got this" seems to be the common thread.

Look what showed up for me this week:

Awesome, right?  If when I start hating life in the later stages of the race, I'll have 2 built-in motivators down there on m'kicks.

And so, here we are.  And I say we intentionally because there's no way I could have done this myself.  I fully understand that while I'm the one hitting the pavement, there's a lion's share of work that falls to Ruth Ann to keep the house afloat.  So thanks, Boo, for tagging along and supporting me on this journey.  And thanks, too, to my training pals Coach and C-Nix.  It's been fun sharing stats and one zillion running-related emails with you fellas.  Looking forward to a disgusting, sweaty, stinky hug on Sunday afternoon.

Finally, if you're interested in being a part of this crazy thing, it'll be on ESPN2 Sunday morning starting at 9:00.  And if you want to pseudo-stalk me, well, there's an app for that (of course there is).  I start with the slow(er) pokes at 10:55, and if things go well, I should finish up around 3:30.  I'd love to run this thing in less than four and a half hours, but it's more important to me to soak up the experience and take some pics along the way.  Stay tuned for the race report...