Question: "any uplifting music I should add to my playlist?"
Answer: When in doubt. James Freaking Brown
Question: "is there an inspiring mantra that goes through your head when you are in those dark moments of a long run?"
Answer: It's a little embarrassing, but its Dora, from Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming" Sometimes I change it to running, but sometimes that makes it too real. Just keep swimming.....
Question: "What do you think about the lunch menu here for a pre-race meal?"
Answer: I think you've made a huge mistake.
Question: "Any advice on how to get rid of a cold (coughing up phlegm), and get my energy back before tomorrow's 1/2 marathon?"
Answer: Go to bed now and rest, fluids. Yes, I realize you have to get up in 6 hours, but I hope you rested. Re-evaluate your goals and have fun. Bring lots of tissue.