It seems every other blogger I read is writing about pre-race nerves or taper madness or some other such running-induced psychosis. Here I sit, with my first race of the year tomorrow morning. My first trail race ever. My first 10-K in almost three years.
Sure, I've been running consistently, with 10 to 15 miles per week and usually at least one trail run per week, but I wouldn't exactly call it training. In fact, my running schedule has been part of what I'm calling a "pre-training plan," as I intend to begin training for my sixth Akron Marathon in May.
This Dirty Dash event tomorrow isn't exactly a goal race, other than the goal to run a trail race this year, but it's not like I'm planning to lollygag through the course, picking flowers and examining bugs. A race is a race, and I intend to compete with whomever I can.
Instead of feeling anxious about racing, though, I'm feeling a sense of calm. Is it because I've set such modest goals? Have I reached a higher plane of running consciousness? Could I feel this way if I intended to set a new PR?
After running without pressure at last year's Akron Marathon, knowing I wouldn't achieve my best time, and feeling a similar sort of ease on the eve of tomorrow's race, I wonder if I can harness this for future races where I do hope to kick butt and take names. Because racing without the jitters is awesome.
Wherein the advice is worth the price we paid for it
BrianFlash suggests I not run accidentally too close to others tomorrow: "Good luck on the trails! One piece of advice to help you meet goal #1. Don't follow anyone too closely. They go down - you go down."
Answer: What's the etiquette of applying the forearm shiver to clear my path?
Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates! Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. We'll be back Monday with a rousing race report. Cheers!