Tomorrow I am running a half marathon. I’m not sure why I find pleasure in waking up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning to run 13.1 miles, but I do. The first rewarding experience is the raising of the flag together with the singing of the National Anthem. The flag hangs off a fire truck ladder and usually someone with a beautiful voice sings. It’s quite an emotional moment that always fills my eyes with tears. Next, thousands of runners start moving, slowly at first until the runners spread out and find their pace. For me it’s a little over eleven minutes per mile. I start my marathon playlist on my ipod and find a runner who is a little faster than me to try to keep up; I call it tagging but I’m not sure if there’s a word for it. As we turn north along A1A, the beach is to our right and empty bars are on the left. The sun begins to rise and runners start discarding heavier clothes. I admire the sunrise and get into my music. I have a variety of music in my playlist, everything from Black Eyed Peas to Sade. But they all inspire me in some way. For me running is 90 percent mental, that is until mile 10 when my legs start to feel like they’re going to fall off. It’s usually then that I stop at the water table and chug a full glass and press onward to the song Survivor. Some runners can grab a drink while running. I tried that once and had water all over my face and shirt, so I decided I can lose a few seconds for the stop. Water stops occur every few miles along with bands and cheering crowds. I skip the stops towards the beginning but welcome them near the end. Just when I feel like I can’t go on, I see the finish line in the distance. That last mile is the longest and hardest part of the race and it’s when I have to push my mind and body the most. As I cross the finish line people cheer and I look up at my time which is a little over 2 hours. Tomorrow, I am shooting for under 2 hours.