Just a quick post… no pics, no frills, since I should be asleep for a 3:30 am (eep!) wake-up.
Getting ready to head out to DC for the Army Ten Miler race. I had joined a team for this one earlier in the year, and I had high hopes for lots of time on the track, honing my skills, dialing in my pace, and generally get more prepared than I am now. Alas, life intervened.
I could be annoyed, irritated, pissed off, but I’m not. This happens. It’s part of the bargain you make when you ask your body to do endurance sport. Sometimes your body has to respect you, and sometimes you have to respect your body. I’m not saying I’m blissfully above the frustration of not hitting goals (if you had seen me at Chisago earlier this year I WAS annoyed, irritated, and pissed off). I am, though, realistic. I don’t have these great dreams of “death before DNF” (which stands for did not finish… a.k.a. quit in the middle of the race). I fully believe that sometimes, as the Irish say, it’s better to be a coward for 5 minutes than dead the rest of your life. And coward’s not really the right word here. Most of the time you see the attitude of “finish the race or die trying” among amateurs, because the pros will so often bow out of races they know they’re not going to do well in. Why put a marathon on your legs just for the sake of finishing when you can realize it’s not your day, stop, be able to recover quicker, train harder, and train sooner.
No, I’m not saying I’m a pro. No, I’m not saying I’m a paragon of wisdom. I would say, though, that I’m a journeyman endurance athlete. I know a little about my limits. I know a little when I should push. And I know a little about when I should hold back and be mindful of my non-sport responsibilities and the difficulty of meeting them if I’m injured. Maybe that is wisdom. I hope I’ve earned some in these 40 years!
All that being said, I leave tomorrow to race in our nation’s capitol. It’s my first 10-mile race, so at least it’s an automatic PR (personal record). It will be slower than my usual race pace so at least I will be able to beat it at a later date. It will be in the company of some wonderful and amazing friends who will toe the line and share this experience with me. Finally, since I’m not focusing on killing this race maybe I can enjoy the many splendors of D.C. It’s really a great place and seeing its grandeur makes me proud to be an American.
Okay… time to stop wallowing in the mud of emotion. Tomorrow I’m off! Catch you on the flip side!