Friday, November 21, 2008

Flashback Friday: You Will Do Great

OK, enough talk about football and other sports. Sorry I bored you all into skimming my brilliant prose. Back to basics, nay, flashback to basics.

That being said, I didn't run last night. I did however make a few more dents in my case of Yuengling Porter. This is my preparation for the 5-K I'll be running Sunday. But enough about me. I know there are many others racing this weekend, and some are racing for the very first time. This post is for you.

* * *

Dear Race Virgin,

I know you are nervous about your first race. You have been preparing for this day for the past several weeks, yet you've been feeling pangs of anxiety ever since you confirmed your registration.

"What have I done?" you think. This is a natural reaction to when we do something new.

"I'm not an athlete," you insist. I point you to George Sheehan, who said, "Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not."

And then there is the age-old "What if I finish last?" So what if you do? I've heard of worse things happening in life than finishing last in a footrace. However, the odds are against it. Just like there is only one person who finishes first, there is only one who finishes last. Chances are neither one will be you.

It's natural to mull over the worse-case scenarios of every situation. The worst thing that could happen in a race is that you could die. And even so, again, the odds are against it. Your chances of dying in a car wreck on your way to the race are higher.

Brush all those fears aside. Now is not the time for such self-doubt. Now is the time for faith.

Find the corner of your brain that believes you can run this distance.

It may seem that your self-doubts have painted your self-assurance into that corner, but there's nothing that says you can't paint your way out. All you have to do is turn around. You'll only get your shoes dirty. Start from that faithful corner and repaint over your fears.

Believe in your new abilities. Believe in your training plan. Believe in yourself. You can run the distance, and you will have a great race.

This weekend, you will set a personal best. A mark to beat for your next race.

Now, for some pointers for the race noob:
  • Don't change anything you've done hitherto before a run
  • Get there early
  • Double-knot your shoes
  • Bring an extra layer just in case
  • Bring something to wear after the race
  • If at the start you are surrounded by people wearing freakishly little clothing, move farther back in the pack
  • Don't be afraid to tell those around you it's your first race; runners tend to be annoyingly friendly to rookies
  • Remember to breathe
  • Race your own race
  • Start slow and finish strong
  • Let the crowd carry you; at least one of those people is rooting for you
  • Celebrate properly
Readers, chime in on what I've left out. Good luck this weekend to all racers.

Foxy News Update
You may have been blinded by Christmas Ale when I reported this, but perhaps elsewhere you heard about the runner who was attacked by a fox and then finished her run with the beast gnawing on her arm. Well, the woman was a recent guest on the Late Show with David Letterman.

[Drunkard's note: Ripped from RW Daily, but he ripped my "Foxy Lady" headline so fair's fair.]

Back Talk
You know the drill.

Blyfinn has a theory about my ability not to fall: "Nice job on staying upright. Could it may be due to all the drunk walking practice?"

Answer: Interesting hypothesis. More lab studies are necessary to prove its validity.

My newly minted 28-year-old of a friend the erratic epicurean tempts my appetite by appealing to my taste for Pennsylvanian beer: "i'm [sic] using some of my yuengling [sic] in my meat mania chili on sunday [sic}. mmmmm [sic]."

Answer: Ladies and gentlemen, my erratic friend is hosting a chili cook-off this weekend and you're not invited. But I am. Maybe if you had wished her a happy birthday yesterday you wouldn't be in this predicament.

OK, that's all. Go Cavs! Go Bucks! Go Browns! Go teammates! To Happy Hour, that is. Have a fine wine of a weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!


Theresa said...

Actually, I've been last in a race. Of course there were only like 40 runners. But I did win a first-in-age-group trophy, which had me laughing hysterically.

Nitmos said...

Your race letter was uplifting and encouraging. Not what we come here for. To which, I can only come to one conclusion. You started Happy Hour early didn't you?

Vava said...

I would add the whole empty your bladder and gut in an appropriate spot prior to the race thing to the list of suggestions for newbies. I suppose it's a no brainer, but whence distracted by the race at hand one may actually forget...

Go Bucks? Cavs and Browns I get, but where do the Bucks come from as far as a favorite team?

B. Kramer said...

@ Theresa: Ha! You finished last AND first? Brilliant!

@ Nitmos: Surprised?

@ Vava: Bucks, as in short for Buckeyes. Thanks for the bladder/bowel advice. Definitely an omission on my part.

Ian said...

I would add lots of coffee on race morning for the new runner. Coffee and ex-lax. Mmmmm boy, it's like a mocha-chino delight.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I'd add empty your mind, also, but I think that follows naturally from voiding the bowels and bladder. Visualize a race so paradoxical that, by coming in last, you also come in first. Then realize that even that has been done ... by Theresa.

tfh said...

Very good advice. I am downright surprised by the number of runners I've seen stooped over, tying shoelaces, during a race. I guess I'd only add, don't be intimidated by people because they "look more like runners than I do" (my thing). YOU look like a runner!

I hope the conditions are right for a new 5k PR for you this Sunday. I will place my bet on you beating it. I've been right before!

Sun Runner said...

Remember, all good 5K races are fueled by beer. Personal research bears out this theory. Good luck shaving your 5K Stubble.

Now I am off to my own early happy hour (shhhh).


GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!

chia said...

I was last in a race too ;-)

So, who runs in Birkenstocks anyways?

joyRuN said...

Very awesome post. Will try to keep everything in mind on Sunday, if I can remember anything at that point.

C said...

Ok, I'm going to give you a compliment. Prepare yourself. Reading this post, it finally hit me that I'm running my first marathon in a little over a week. Thanks for the early advice. It's much appreciated.

Good luck shaving this weekend.

X-Country2 said...

I'm running my first marathon on Sunday, and that advice was really helpful. It made me sick to my stomach to read, but I've got a pretty weak stomach about the anticipation of this race. :o)

gin hall said...

this pic is for you, viper!

might as well be the vipes on that bench

the erratic epicurean said...

chili! mmmmmm.

ps. you're sic!