Team Tucson took off for Alaska today to run the Mayor's Midnight Marathon in Anchorage (although I hear it's not run at Midnight anymore)
There are a total of 3,500 runners, 615 of them are TNT participants who raised over THREE MILLION DOLLARS in the fight to cure blood cancers. That's amazing.
And bittersweet for me because I so SO wanted to be there, but with school and life in general, it just wasn't possible for me this year. I'm really excited to hear the race reports when they come back- always such a fun time, to see first-timers' faces lit up with the experience of getting a medal (and the ever-coveted TNT pin).
The other day I got into a conversation with someone who was preparing to run his first 5k (the Coronado Island one, I'd love to run that some day) and he asked me if I had any advice...and I thought about it....of course the usual runs through my head "Nothing new on race day! Hydrate! Put BodyGlide everywhere, even in places that never see daylight!"......but then I realized that none of that mattered (that much) in a 5k and they were all Moo points (thanks, Joey) anyway unless you (and this is what I told him):
1) Have Fun and Smile. No, seriously. Enjoy every minute you're on that course (barring serious injury, cramps, etc etc). Running the race is like....30% of the experience. There's packet pickup, t-shirt getting, playlist making (if you run with music), outfit coordinating, and REALLY getting to savor a start and finish line. So what if it's a splash of flour that someone threw on a sidewalk? It's a finish line....it's tangible, and the feeling you get when you cross it? Priceless (even if it does come with a side of "OhmygodI'mneverdoingthisagainI'msogladit'sover"). You did it, now wear that T-shirt with pride! DO IT.
2) Don't go out too fast. We've all done this. You say you haven't? Liar. I recently witnessed this phenomenon a couple of weeks ago at a local 5k. At mile 1 all of the peacocks (you know, the ones who shave everything and run shirtless with their pecs flexed the whole time?) who sprinted out at the beginning started dropping like flies. One by one they would look around self-conciously, hang their head, and start walking. Okay, hang on. There is NOTHING wrong with walking. For f's sake, every race I've run has been run/walk. However, walking was clearly not in the plan for these guys and the looks on their faces and the way they were carrying themselves was...well, sad.
Granted, the spirit of this event was an emotional one- it was the first race of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown (he was Gabrielle Giffords' staff member who lost his life on January 8th) and Gabe's Dad was at the start line and there wasn't a dry eye who toed the line. So everyone was a little charged....
There's something about pinning on a race number (aka bib) that makes you feel a little more special. I'm totally serious. As dumb as it sounds, the second you are identified as a NUMBER on a race course? It's go time. And I told this person that- it's fun, but watch yo'self.
So yeah, don't go out too fast, you'll be a sad panda at mile 1 if you do.
3) And really, hydration isn't a bad idea either. Having 3 beers and an iced tea and an ice cream cone the day of a night run is not a wise choice. I didn't to this (I promise), but I know someone who did and maybe he didn't have such a fun time on the course.
Bottom line: Have fun, smile, and if you don't think you're going too slow, you're going too fast.
(and ps- 5 more days of school, but who's counting?)