I truly believe that these are words spoken by every Athlete At Heart at one point or another. Possibly every year!
There are a million reasons we sign up for events. Maybe your friends are doing a race and you get sucked in by the excitement and/or the pressure. Maybe you can’t pass it up because it local. It’s for a good cause. It’s free. It sounds too fun! Sometimes the medal is just too cool (guilty). Maybe it’s the last Boston qualifier of the season. Maybe you needed the motivation of a race on the calendar. It could be a dream of yours. Or something you never thought you’d do. It could be something you’ve done a million times.
Whatever the reason, something causes you to click the button that says REGISTER. And that’s the first moment you say it…
I had this moment tonight.
I am part of an amazing group (hi Winners!!) on Facebook. It started as a group of people with a love for running and a desire to lose weight. It has turned into a safe haven where we share successes, failures, fears, and joys in every area of our lives. We still talk a lot about working out. We also talk about divorce, depression, jobs, kids, and everything else. They have become the most amazingly supportive and tight-knit group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting online.
So, as part of a weekend to be spent meeting some of these friends in person I just signed up for a half marathon in November.
I know. I am wildly out of shape for a half marathon. I haven’t done more than 3 miles in months. Does it matter? A little, but not enough.
So Athletes, when you have that “what did I just do??” moment you need to do a couple of things:
1) Embrace It!
You probably can’t get your money back so run with it! Something inspired you to click submit in the first place. Don’t let that go.
2) Know Your Reason & Your Goal.
You’ve got to know why you’re doing it. Your approach is going to be a lot different if you want to qualify for something or if you are out to support a cause.
I’m not out to set a PR in this half. I’m out to have FUN. I’ll be wearing a tutu and running with (i.e. trying to keep up with) my friends. The faster of the Winners will be cheering me at the finish line and the slower among them will be by my side (or maybe just a little bit in front of me ).
3) Make A Plan.
If whatever you signed up for is much different or farther or faster than what you’re doing in workouts now, you’re going to need a plan. Don’t wait until the last minute, cause yourself extra stress, and maybe make yourself regret signing up. Take a minute to get over the shock of signing up and then break out your calendar and figure out how to get there. That’s what I’ll be doing!
Chances are you’ll question your sanity for signing up for whatever event it is many, many times before and on race day. I know I will. Do it anyway and ENJOY THE HELL OUT OF IT.
Keep registering, friends.