The time has finally come: I’m here in Pittsburgh, PA with less than 24 hours until the 5th Annual Pittsburgh Marathon. The question, as it always is the day before a race, is “Am I really ready for 26.2 miles?”

The Pittsburgh Marathon is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, which is known to many as the City of Steel. The race itself boasts intense hills, sharp inclines and 5 bridges that runners will crisscross along their 26.2-mile journey.If they complete the race successfully, they will receive a metal, yes, but they will also be known as a “Runner of Steel” from this day forward. The 2013 race marks the 5th year that professional athletes and runners will gather in Western Pennsylvania to make their mark on the PGH Marathon.

As a 2X marathon athlete, I have trained for this day by alternating my short and long runs, monitoring my eating habits, and preparing myself mentally. Now, with less than 24 hours to go, there is nothing more I can do. No more training needs to be done. The most important thing for me right now is to relax, enjoy being in a new city, and let my worries and anticipations go. Oh, and a good night’s rest is always welcome! I’ve got my gear ready to go. My water bottle filled; my GU gel’s packed along my water bottle belt; my running attire ready, and my breakfast for the morning of my run already planned. I completed my last workout prior to my run this morning at the hotel and can now only relax.

The temperature this weekend in Pittsburgh is in the high 60’s. It’s sunny and I could not have asked for anything better. As a result of my training, I’m more confident than I have been prior to my first two marathons. I’m ready to conquer the city of Pittsburgh with its historic districts, unapologetic hills, its 5 bridges, and any other obstacles that may arise. The time has come! There is no looking back. Only looking forward. I’m ready to put another notch in my marathon belt. By 10:30AM tomorrow I will become a 3X marathon athlete but I’ll also be a “Runner of Steel.”

I encourage you to follow me on Twitter @TravisSmith09. Here you can cheer me on as I make my way along the course. You can send encouragement, and see how I finish. Join me and run with me!