Well, I started out strong. I invested in some new Brooks running shoes and signed up for the online beginner training program. I bought new workout clothes (you look forward to working out more when you have a cute outfit, right?) and loaded up the iPod with motivational tunes. Groundwork laid. Let Operation Erin Might Actually Do This Running Thing commence.
I even dropped my workout schedule into Google Calendars and shared it with my friend Darcy so we could hold each other accountable for actually getting off our bums and doing something. She's doing crazy things like P90X and serious classes that really make your muscles scream, so I was sure hoping I could keep up with my gradually-increasing-in-intensity walking/jogging/running routine.
And I did, I really did! For a while, anyway...and then I was "too tired" and "too busy" and every other excuse in the book, and before I knew it I'd run out of time to really prepare myself. And yes, I would have done the ten miles anyway, just to punish myself if for no other reason...save for this:
All runners must complete the course in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes. Runners not maintaining a 14-minute-per-mile pace at 5 miles will have to leave the course. If you fall behind 14-minute-per-mile pace during the second half of the race you will be required to board our sweep vehicle.Board the sweep vehicle, known in my mind as the Van of Shame? No thank you! I mean, I'd like to think I could manage 14 minute miles, but why chance the Van of Shame? For sanity's sake...drop down to the 5k. Fill out the form, the switch is made, no problem. I can certainly manage a 5k.
Saturday I made my way over to the National Building Museum and was pleasantly surprised at the ease of check-in and bib pick-up. I was expecting crazy lines, but everything actually ran very efficiently. Props to the volunteers. I pulled together my clothes for Sunday, called it an early night on Saturday, and set my alarm for the semi-unpleasant hour of 6:00 AM.
Pulling together everything the night before doesn't do you much good when you stumble out of bed and hit "dismiss" rather than "snooze" on the alarm and crawl back into bed for ten more precious minutes of sleep. Ten minutes turned into three and a half hours, and I slept through the race. Epic fitness fail. And that's as far as bib #18285 made it.