In which I'm going for it

I'm going to race a half marathon in a little over a week. Not run it--race it. I've set an "A goal" that scares the shitake out of me, and while it's nowhere in the vicinity of a local elite time, it requires me to step up into "an elite version of myself" (as a fellow runner so eloquently put it).

I'm scared. Which is weird and makes me feel ridiculous. Because it's just a road race. Nothing's on the line. The outcome doesn't matter in any way, shape or form. I can't explain why I care as much as I do, why I'm holding this goal so tightly. The caring makes me feel foolish and vulnerable and like I should make a joke about how I run simply for the love of margaritas and cheese. But the truth is I (mostly) gave up alcohol and ice cream for the last two weeks in hopes that better nutrition would mean I could run faster. See what I mean? I simply can't explain why I care this much. (Giving up ice cream? How seriously messed up is that?)

I'm a lifelong sandbagger with a penchant for avoiding failure and life along with it. And this race, well, it's quite possibly the first time I've ever, of my own volition, stepped up to the start of anything knowing there is as much a chance of failure as success.

I feel like I'm flirting concurrently with disaster and breakthrough. I have only a vague idea of what my limits are, but know with certainty they'll be tested when I race next week. I know that if I do it right, it's going to hurt for the better part of 13.1 miles. I know that if I do it right, I'll be making the ugly face for so long that there's a high probability of it freezing that way. (Again, the sane 1% of my brain has to ask--why am I doing this!?)

I'm scared. About a race that has zero meaning in the overall scheme of things. And yes, it's weird and makes me feel ridiculous and melodramatic. But it also makes me feel alive and excited and maybe even slightly courageous.

So no more sandbagging. I'm saying it here so I don't wuss out. When the time comes to toe the line, I'm going all in.

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