I do love to race, it's one of the things that first hooked me on to running. Nothing like putting your own goals and previous records on the line, nothing like seeing what exactly your best is and nothing like the feel of pushing your body to a rational max.
When I signed up for Around the Bay last November, I had sights set on a sub 2:15 finish. Not only was I capable of doing that time, I had done it the previous summer at another 30K race. I was all excited about this being a goal race and looked forward to it.
Of course, life can throw things at you, like two weeks of a cold and lack of training. I'm not bummed out at all, in fact, I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. Who knows, maybe I'll feel like myself.
Spent a few hours catching up with Fran tonight. He's running the ATB at a slower pace than he's used to -- he's using it as practice for when he becomes a pace bunny for the Ottawa marathon. I have another friend, Tom, who's in the midst of training for his first marathon. He has definite real goals and a real challenging pace.
I've run long enough now that every race is not the be all and end all of my running life. I've run two Army 10 milers in DC the last two years, both pacing R, and I've loved running at the slower pace, it helped me 'smell the flowers' and appreciate the act of racing. When you're hard core racing, you tend to lose that part -- that it's a celebration of fitness and running.
I have three co-workers running tomorrow, two of them it's their longest distance. I know quite a few run bloggers who are also running and other friends. Some will give it their all, some are off injuries, some are focusing on other races and others are pacing less experienced friends.
Tomorrow will be a toss of a coin, but I do intend to have fun, finish it strongly and look to get some decent pacing, and I intend to enjoy myself, even if I don't give it my all. Getting to the start line and working our way to the finish and gaining fitness, confidence and a sense of one's own physical and mental limits, that's what the race is really about.
Until that freaking horn goes off, bets are off then. :)