Cross-posting from my other blog, jfxramblings.blogspot.com.
the first time in my life, I was in a 10k on Team JFX this past Sunday
in the Cleveland Marathon. It was an unbelievable experience. I love
trying new things and the anticipation the night before embarking on
something brand-new is thrilling for me. I had no idea what it would be
like. Here are some things that I didn't anticipate:
1. To paraphrase Michael Jackson, it doesn't matter if you walk or run.
maybe for serious runners it did, but for me, it didn't. I'm not very
well-trained, and it didn't matter. I've learned that good "runner's
etiquette" is not to ask. Asking personal deets about your 10k is like
asking about your 401k! Walk, run, start, stop, do what works for you.
Just keep trying and make it to the finish.
2. When you cross the finish line, no one knows if you were in the 10k, the half-marathon, or the full.
a 10k is roughly 6 miles. Half-marathon, 13. Full: 26. And when you
cross that finish, no one knows unless you tell them. You coulda
actually slipped in 5 minutes before the end and no one would know the
diff. You know what? It's no one else's business but yours. Only you
know how hard you trained, how much you pushed, and how long you ran.
(Or if you walked.)
3. There's a whole "marathon culture."
couple of nights before the race, I called Kim, my runner friend, and
asked her a whole bunch of questions: what if I need to drink? Do I
bring my own water? Are there bathrooms along the way? What's the best
way to cover my head? Sunglasses or too sweaty? She laughed and said I
reminded her of when she was becoming more observant. How should I
know people are standing there offering you drinks and you just toss the cup into the street? (That was painful for the eternal mother in me. Now who's gonna clean up that mess?) My
point? We all have stuff that we're experienced at, and stuff that
we're novices at. Ask! Find someone who likes you who has more
experience, and just plain old ask.
4. Everyone's in pain the next day.
in a race is somewhat glamorous. (I still won't throw out my bib. Oh,
and yes, a bib is a piece of paper with your number that you pin on
your shirt. Oh... your number... so everyone gets one when they
register...wtvr...) Everyone is so excited for you, people are
impressed, folks are sponsoring you. Then, the next day, you and
everyone else in the race, is in pain. You're sore, dehydrated and have
a headache. It's OK. Pain is the great equalizer. From the most
well-trained runner to, well, me. Does it mean I goofed? Does it mean I
shouldn't do it again? Nah. I means I'm pushing myself. That's good.
not going to tell you all to join a race. It's not for everyone. But I
will challenge you to find something that you've never tried before,
and just sign up. It keeps you fresh and interesting.
years ago, on Shavuot, at Mt. Sinai, the Jews signed up for Judaism,
and they sure didn't know what they were getting themselves into. Who knows? Maybe you, too, will be in pain the next day.
That's a good thing.