The picture above says it all; it’s been a long winter, which is when this whole training mess started and I gleefully snapped this picture of my ice-covered water bottle (Valentine’s Day, to be exact). Not every race that rolls around when I feel like I’m ready for it, and it’s not so much that I’m overly confident in my fitness right now, it’s more like this:
*Photo credit: Rene Schwietzke
I’m itching to race and to stand in a queue with thousands of other running crazies, but I’m also beyond excited for this particular race, which I’ve never run before (OneAmerica Mini-Marathon, I’m lookin’ at you). I’m under the 48 hour mark until the fun kicks off, so for the sake of working out some pre-race jitters, I have compiled this list of reasons why I’m ready to let it fly:
- I’ve been training since January. Initially I was going to race last month, bit hit a snag with a pesky tendon. So, I regrouped and realized that this race was happening. The race is a much needed release from my training. I’m ready to push it hard, whatever that may mean on Saturday, take a week or two off, then regroup and go again.
- This race sounds like a lot of fun. Okay, I already mentioned this, but to elaborate I get to do a lap around the Indy Speedway, and the last mile has been dubbed “Victory Mile”. Added bonus: there are a lot of musical and cheer groups on the course, and if I am lucky enough to PR, there’s a bell to ring in celebration. I don’t know, sounds like a party to me!
- My travel and hotel logistics worked out perfectly. Somehow the last minute hotel room I scored was affordable, happens to be connected to the convention center for the expo, and is a block away from the start line. No pre-race porta-potty line for me this time, or worrying about parking. It sort of feels like the race stars aligned.
- I’m ready to feel the post-race euphoria, exhausted self included. I think the experience of putting it all out there and being tired, sore, and endorphin-filled is a huge mental and physical release. I can think of fewer frustrations than cancelling a race, only because all that hard work warrants some type of climax. Training is structured toward this build-up, hence feeling like a bull stuck in a pen. I’m also ready for a mini break from training, a couple of weeks of free fall to recover and run only if/when I want.
- I’m curious to see how I race. I suppose this is a given, but after the past few months I’m itching to get a benchmark of where I am currently in regards to my short and long term goals, and then to use this knowledge to shake up my training.
- Food. Isn’t the point of racing to indulge afterwards? Forget everything else I said, and just hand me a waffle burger with guacamole, fries, and peanut butter brownies. Then later we can go out for fried chicken and apple pie, okay? (This is a random craving, but I walked by a fried chicken joint last night on my way home and was immediately overcome with the amazing smell. If it’s possible to create an olfactory mantra/meditation, mine for this race is fried chicken.)