I'm running a "race" in the morning. The quote marks mean I intend to just have fun and not get competitive. I'll rock out to some tunes on my iPod, check out new trails in a park I've never been to before and just have a good time.
Because usually I race.
Case and point: Two weekends ago I found myself kicking it up a notch during the last half of the Race Through the Redwoods 10K. This, even though I'd spent most of the past 96 hours choking down smoke on a fire line while covering the 7,800-acre Lockheed Fire. Even though I'd netted an average of five hours sleep a night since the fire started. Even though we ran six miles before the race to see how many bridges we could find (and cross) in and around Henry Cowell State Park.
So I sprinted to the finish. My time wasn't blazing fast (57 something) but given the hours and days leading up to it -- and the 1/2-mile hill climb at mile 3 that most people walk (I didn't!) -- the showing wasn't too bad. I was 6th of 20-some women in my age division.
But getting back to tomorrow.... I swear I intend to just have a good time at the Bear Creek Trail Half Marathon. This is my free race "I complained" race entry so really it's a glorified weekend long run... with a T-shirt and a medal.
The big goal is not miss a turn and actually run 13.1 miles. Also crossing my fingers for no food poisoning or bee stings (other recent race ailments). We'll see how it goes.
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"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."