I was 16 and still intoxicated from the previous night's indulgences when I ran my first race, the Jubilee Cityfest 5 miler. I learned several things from that race which have stuck with me over the years: 1. Don't try to eat a peanut butter sandwich just before you are about to run 5 miles when you are intoxicated. When it comes back up, the peanut butter sticks in the back of your throat and gives you a near death choking sensation that tends to impede your race progress. 2. Don't decide to compete in a race at 3 am on the morning of the race when you have been drinking beer all night... 3. An orange after racing rocks...
I've always enjoyed races much more than the preparation involved. I hate running, but I love the race. Preparation runs are lonely; and, I don't like running with someone else except for that rare occasion when their pace exactly matches yours. Then it's more fun. But even with a partner, I've never been a talker. You know how some people will talk for the entire run - drives me f*ing crazy. If I'm running I want to focus on running harder, or more efficiently, or something... I don't want to listen to someone telling me about their Aunt Josie's birthday party for an hour.
Over the years my decision to do a race was usually decided the day before the race. Kinda like deciding to go to a movie for most people, I would decide to go run a 5 or 10k. I never ever thought of actually doing any real preparation for a race before my friend Mark challenged me to try a tri with him this past summer. Then, of course, I had to learn to swim and buy a bike so I had to prepare.
I think I'm going to try out a new modus operandi for race planning. I'm going to come up with a list of races in which I WILL compete in the next 12 months. That way, I can plot my training path as well as hold myself more accountable to achieve the goals I have set. So, that being said, my goal races for the next 12 months include, but are not limited to, the following:
12/02/07 St Jude Marathon, Memphis TN
02/11/07 Mercedes Half Marathon, Birmingham AL
4/15/07 Powerman Alabama duathlon 8k/53k/8k
5/20/07 Ford Ironnman 70.3 Orlando, FL
August 07 Steelhead 70.3 St Joe, MI
There... Its in writing, so it will be... And if all goes well, and I am healthy, next year - IM full course...