|An unlikely cover boy|
My pre-race routine is getting pretty set. In the days before a race, I prep as if it were a marathon. Ease up on the the training. Focus on fruits, veggies, and whole grains at the table. I always pickup my race packet early so I don't have to figure out what to do with a plastic bag full of coupons and swag half an hour before the race. The day before, I do the sleep math, counting backwards. On site about 90 minutes early. Travel time. Two hours to dress, eat, and use the bathroom before I leave. Seven to eight hours of sleep. An hour to pack my bag. Wherever that puts me on the clock, is where I start my countdown. This weekend it was 8:00 PM, Friday night.
|This little bald lady is tougher than you|
We finished at 7:30, and I booked it on home. Mrs P had a hard day, and had stopped for pizza and beer. I was tempted for a moment, but the thought of port-a-potties somewhere around mile 10 convinced me that I'd be better off with a bowl of granola for supper. Then it was time to pack.
|Locked and loaded|
The dogs wake me at 2:00 to go out for a pee in the rain. The alarm wakes me at 5:00 and it's race day.
Weight? 254. Excellent. Heart rate? 58. Right on. One cup of coffee. One bagel with jelly. Wait for nature's call. Swap my jammies for the royal blue compression shorts and the black shorts. Mrs P is stirring in the bedroom, so I go back there to finish dressing. Grease up the feet with Aquaphor. Pull on the good socks. Double knot the shoes. Sun block. Slather the nips. Try to put 'Iron Man" cartoon band aids on them. Mrs P points out I've done that backwards, as the band aids fall off my lubricated chest. Finally, pull on the shirt and my YMCA Staff fleece to keep warm, and let my sweet bride go back to sleep. She promises to be there at the finish line with her camera.
Nature finally calls, but only on line 1. I finally give up on waiting for line 2 to ring and leave, hoping for the best.
|"Is this heaven?" "No, it's Kentucky."|
Something cool is happening at these gatherings. I'm meeting friends. These are people I've run with. People from the Y. People I know on Facebook. Faces from other events. A guy I used to go to church with. Ladonna, my fellow cancer fighter. Bob, who swore me to secrecy about his training, who has been preparing for this day since autumn. I'm one of them, now. I'm part of the community of idiots who get up at 5:00 in the morning to run. And they're some of the most supportive, generous people I know.
|LaDonna reminding me why we're here|
Actually, the elite runners are off. We mortals are waiting in a line four lanes wide to filter through the starting gate. It takes my group about four minutes to reach the gizmo that will read out timing chips. I start my Garmin, and we're off.
|Target pace? 13:00/min. Must have been the Gatorade...|
|He's with Stupid|
I don't really have an ending for this. On the drive home, a thought came to me: How much better would our world be if every now and then, we all got together on a Saturday morning and ran together? I think it might make a big difference.
Hey, don't forget to make your donation to Living Strong at the Y. It's easy, it's cheap, and you'll be a much better person if you do. Promise.