November 18, 2013

Racing Saturday

10K this Saturday, and looks like it might draw the kind of field I'd asked for a little while back. A few people I've lost to before. One guy I've never beaten, and won't, unless he breaks a leg, mid-race. (I should note, here, that he's a cool guy, so I'd rather this not happen. He trains more and harder than anyone else I know, despite being talented enough to beat everyone around here on half the time and effort. So I'd rather he stay upright. And kick my ass.)

But I'm as interested, honestly, in who might show up. A few road kids, trying their rock-hopping legs for the first time. A couple ultra-specialists, stepping down. Maybe. I've heard talk and read some things on Facebook. And I hope it happens. I hope it happens because running is fun, is satisfying, is a lot of very nice things that you either know or I can't properly tell you.

But racing is what it's about.

It's not better, always. Sometimes it a lot worse, in fact. A bad run is a bad run. You move on and get out the door the next day. But a bad race sits on your shoulders and tells you that you're less fit than you thought, not training as hard as you thought. It tells you that you've wasted hours, days, weekends, for this? Fuck, man. Maybe you're fraudulent, putting on this "runner" thing as some kind of ploy, an attempt to garner Good for you's from co-workers and pats on the back from other fitness hobbyists.

And I raced like shit, last year, at this event. Went to the well and there was nothing there. Don't know why, and that's the worst. X is wrong, you do fix X. But you have to solve for the variable first.

So. I don't know. I know that I'm training more and better and my races say so. I haven't had a bad one yet this year. Won a handful, finished near the front in the rest. No reason to think that won't happen on Saturday.

But I want to see. To stand at the line, in the freezing cold, look right, left, see people who care, who work, with whom I run often, sharing miles and conversation. I like these guys and I like this trail and I like running hard. It's all good, so long as I am, on that morning.

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