Friday, April 10, 2009

Take that!!!

It has been 9 months since I raced a race for me. I have paced some athletes to the finish line and just run a few races because it's fun to run them. But I have not stated a race goal and set out to achieve it in nearly a year. So, May 9th I will be targeting the Mayfaire 5K here in Lakeland with a goal of 21:xx.... Gulp! There. It's out on the interwebs for everyone to see. Now, I can begin to fret.

I hate racing. I hate setting a race goal because I know full-well that doing so means that there is a very, very good possibility that I could fail. And a 5K is even worse! In a marathon or half-iron distance tri you can make lots of excuses--- a bad stomach, dehydration, hitting the proverbial wall. Not so much with a 5K. A race goal is very important because it gives the runner a measure by which to determine how their training is going. It provides information about the training plan, the diet, the pacing, all sorts of stuff. Sounds useful, huh? Yet, this "useful tool" looms over me like the boogie man who used to sleep under my bed. As a kid, I would stand on the bed and literally leap through the door to the hall so his grimey, slimey fingers couldn't wrap around my ankle and pull me down. I would lie there in the darkness and think up tireless escape plans should he one day yank me into the dark cave. Just the same, my mind is whirring with ways to tweak my training or squeeze in a few more miles or even break my leg so I don't have to race (God help me, I am a sick, sick individual).

One of my athletes, Nicole, emails me periodically in an absolute panic. "I can't do this..... there's no way.... why did I sign up for this?...." I always laugh to myself and think, "Silly Nicole! Believe in the plan; just believe." But here I am with the exact same self-doubt building in my throat as the day gets closer and closer. And the reality of the situation is that it doesn't even matter what the race time turns out to be! How self-absorbed of me to think for one second that posting a time less than my stated goal will matter one teensy. little. bit (Thank you Betsy for pointing that out :P ). What matters is that I was brave enough to set the goal, that I toe the line on race morning and allow myself to measure up and see how well I am doing. What matters is that I run hard as hell and walk away knowing how I can improve. Because the truth is that failure can drive you to greatness or it can grab your ankle and pull you under, just like the boogie man.

So May 9th, I will be at the start line and I will give the boogie man the finger because gosh darn it I'm going for it! 100%.... all out.... fully knowing that I just might fail!

I guess I should admit, then, that my real goal is sub-21 minutes. Since we're being honest and fearless and all like that....


  1. Go Becca Go - you CAN do it!!!

  2. Thanks Maria! I am gonna run like the wind............. I hope :D