In less than a week, I will be on the starting line of my very first marathon.

As a 5k/10k runner in college, I can’t tell you how often I dreamed about racing a marathon. Unlike those milers and 800 runners, I am a true distance runner. I lived for long runs in college (my favorite workout was AT 14 milers. I know, crazy person). I knew that the marathon would be my race.

But I’m running my first marathon on Sunday, and I don’t feel anywhere near prepared.

The past couple months of training have been sporadic, sputtered, and unfocused. I work full time and commute two hours every single day. I had some hip problems, as well as mental problems. There would be days when I just would be too tired to move. At the time, I told myself that I was “listening to my body,” knowing that I am often anemic and have trouble recovering.

I kept thinking that I’d have more time–and here I am, a week before the New York marathon and I’m feeling completely unprepared. I’m the grasshopper that played all summer while the ants worked, and now I’m going to starve this winter.

Truth be told, I know that I am in better shape than I feel. My long runs have been 18-20 miles. I ran a good 5k, better 10k, and even better half marathon recently. I think this is just the nerves getting the best of me– 26.2 miles is a looooong way to run. But I will be doing it in my home city, surrounded by thousands of other runners who have also been on a difficult journey. I will just need to take it one step at a time.

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