I wasn’t planning on running the Celebration Half Marathon again this year. For the last several months now, running has felt like a slog – I enjoy having run, but I do not enjoy running. I’ve struggled to drag myself out of the house to run in the morning in a way that I don’t struggle to do my other workouts. After a while, it begins to dawn that it might be time for a break, and so you stop signing up for races and you prepare for a break.
And then plans change.
Race afterglow is dangerous. After September’s Ragnar, the whole team was feeling that afterglow. We had just run 200-ish miles, and I guess we weren’t thinking clearly. We just spent a night in a proper bed (as opposed to a van seat), and had eaten barbecue and drunk beer the night before. Now, at breakfast, we were feeling good, and the conversation naturally turned to upcoming races. One of the teammates (I think it was Dottie – I blame Dottie) mentioned that the Celebration Half Marathon was a good race, and she planned to make it her “A” race this year and try for a PR. Then I mentioned that I had run the race last year and really liked it – good organization, good after-party, flat course (which was particularly appealing after the hills everybody had just hated). And then somebody said, “Hey, why don’t we all plan to come down and run that race?” And Dottie and I said our houses would be available to stay at and it is all a bit hazy but we left with an agreement (I thought) to get signed up for that race if at all possible and run it in January based probably out of my house.
Dottie was already signed up, and I came home and signed up immediately. I laid out my race plan and I started to run. Because I’m so familiar with the course, and because I can walk to the start line, much of the race stress that I feel before big races just doesn’t exist – I can relax into this one. But as we got closer to race day, it became clearer and clearer that I was the only one that had signed up after the Ragnar. Everybody bailed when the race afterglow faded. But the good news was that we were still going to get a visit from our friends – they were going to be here to cheer, even if they didn’t run.
I’ll take it.