Friday... and Saturday... is the Ragnar Relay, and that leaves me but a few days to get all the supplies and equipment I need to take with me in order or purchase them, to figure out the logistics and to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts.
It’s at about this point, though, when I’m wondering ‘What the hell did I get myself into?’
And while I still haven’t exactly answered that question, it is time to get motivated for it nevertheless.
I think before any of my big races I’ve asked myself that question. Actually, when I met with my trainer for the first time back in March 2006, I asked myself that. And when I was making my way towards the start line of my half-marathon, I asked myself that. It’s not really borne of doubt, but I suppose it’s just human nature to feel as if something daunting, something challenging is not something we can do.
It’s easy to take the easy way out. Hit the easy button, as it were. Sometimes, that’s not possible. In fact, anything that’s worth anything is difficult. Nothing is handed to you. You don’t just lose weight by hoping and wanting, and you don’t become a better runner by running 2-3 miles every day.
There comes a time when you must challenge yourself, when you see what the fruits of your labor are.
When I was trying to lose weight, those moments of truth weren’t during my workouts. It was only when I stepped on the scale every month that I was able to see the work I put into things. How much effort did I put into my workouts? How honest was I with myself when it came to my meal plan? How much respect did I have for myself?
Any race I’ve run in, and the Ragnar Relay in many ways will be like this, has been a test of my abilities. But more than that, the races have shown just how much work and dedication I’ve put into it. I like to think that I’m focused and have been focused along my running route, in both my training and the efforts I’ve put into gaining the knowledge necessary to educating myself about running, but all these races really bring that to the forefront.
It’s not just the time of the race either. For instance, I was proud and always will be proud of my half marathon, but I remember feeling completely wiped out after the race, and feeling out of it the rest of the day: I was lightheaded and my muscles ached. Why? Because I hadn’t educated myself properly on running long distances. And I knew that if I was going to go for the full 26.2 that I’d have to better myself on many aspects. So I joined the Lopers.
I’m not concerned about the times of my runs on Friday-Saturday. I want to get my runs in and I want to challenge myself and put all the new things I’ve learned about running into action. I want to become part of a team, want to motivate and cheer and pull for my teammates. And I’m going to have to put what I have to offer as a runner on display for the benefit of myself and others.
Am I up for it?
It’s a test. Only time will tell if I pass or fail.