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It’s Mile 24
Past the wall with all of its fabled pain
Past the drudge of mile 20
(What? I still have a 10-K to go??)

Just quiet, unassuming mile 24
punctuated by the thud
of the once new running shoes
beating out a rhythm
Almost done
Almost done
not done
but Almost done

Thinking about the end
the cold water
the banana
the baked potato
(Who would have thought a baked potato would sound so good?)
But not there. yet

Mile 24 is the prelude
to the finish
a 2.2-mile victory lap
If you define victory
as getting to the end
upright.