My racing motto:
“Sign up, show up, finish”
I try to keep it the least complicated as possible.
Here’s the thing. I know that there is a significant amount of work in each one of those steps. There is a lot of running in training. But a lot of mental work, too.
As easy as I try to make the idea, I know it is all going to take work.
Do you know how long I contemplated my first race since having kids? I hadn’t raced in 17 years. I saw a sign on the sign of the road advertising for a local trail 10K. “Should I? Nah. Well…Maybe. What would it hurt? Might be kind of fun. What’s the point. Oh heck, why not?” That one sentence must’ve been repeated in my head for 3 months. (Took me 3 months to sign up).
For what? Where? Once I got used to the idea of racing, heck, I even got excited about it – where was I going to find my next one? Well, I went and asked my dear friend Google. And actually found a lot of different links to races around the country, world and in my area. Like this one here, at Cool Runnings or here with Runners World. There are a ton of links out there. Really helps open up some new race doors!
I don’t know. I am the kind of person that If I say I am going to do something, well, I am going to do it. The only time I haven’t made it to the start line at all is when I got stuck right behind a car accident. I’ve been late to the start line a few times, but hey, live and learn. But this can be a hard step for some. The negative thoughts can be overwhelming. The thought of “I’ve failed” before one even tries can win sometimes. Well, fight that negative thought off. Guess what? Showing Up is winning. Change the “I can’t” to “I can!”
There is only one winner. For most of us, winning doesn’t matter. We are there to finish. However long it takes. Hopefully beating some mental goal we have put in place.
I did win my age group once. But I was so hung up on making 2 wrong turns during that race and didn’t get the time I was going for – well – I ruined that moment for myself.
And I’ve only come close to not finishing one race. The last marathon I ran. Almost in tears from heel pain I thought I was going to have to throw in the towel. But I put my head down and crossed the line, swearing I was done with the marathon.
I think that lasted about an hour. And I’ve already registered for my next one, so fingers crossed it goes better, I still finish and I handle the pain better.
Keeping the thought of racing uncomplicated. Sign up, show up and finish. 1, 2, 3. That’s all, right?