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
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.]
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!