I had this happen recently, and this is your preview for what could turn out to be a huge mistake, a glorious adventure, or some combination of both. I received an offer last weekend from a friend to run Nashville's Country Music Marathon next weekend. I said, "Heck, yeah!" However, I am grossly underprepared for such an undertaking. No matter; I'm totally doing it.
|And I'm totally stealing Homer's look. Headbands + wristbands + singlet + legendary beer belly = legit marathoner!|
"Why?" you say? Well, first of all, I have been wanting to run a marathon for quite a while now, but they are so doggone expensive that it's just not feasible on my shoestring budget (lol, pun intended). I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to run a big-budget marathon (part of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series) for absolutely nothing.
Secondly, this is not the first race I have entered with little targeted training. I ran a local half marathon a couple years ago grossly underprepared (never running longer than six miles prior to the actual race), and I finished in under two hours. I was very pleased with the results of that race, all things considered. By the way, that race entry was free, too. I ran in place of a friend whose nagging back injury prevented him from going on race day. In short, being a slacker who hates paying for stuff has worked out beautifully for me so far. I have every reason to believe that the CMM will be a fantastic experience. If it isn't or I have to DNF, well shoot, who cares! It's free! No harm done.
|I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Am I right?|
Lastly, I think that many a layperson takes training for and competing in many sporting events they have to pay to enter just a tad too seriously. (Case in point: pretty much any triathlete most of us have ever met!) A marathon is a significant undertaking and shouldn't be taken lightly; however, people should not confuse themselves with Paula Radcliffe or Geoffrey Mutai either (If you do not follow the marathon scene, they're elite women's and men's marathoners, respectively). Basically, if you are reading this blog entry, you are likely a layperson much like me who will never win much of anything while running. You run because you enjoy it and like to challenge yourself. Races are great fun if you have the right attitude, and most runners are in more danger of taking things too seriously than they are being too laid back. Don't confuse me with those people who just goof off and enter races with no ambition to finish, but you won't see me elbowing old women out of the way on the sprint for the finish, either.
|Not quite this seriously....|
|...and nowhere near this silly. /lolJapanese|
So maybe I'm in a perfect place to run a marathon for the enjoyment of the experience, and maybe I'm woefully delusional about my lack of preparation. Plus I have just a dash "I don't really care," thrown in there for good measure. And because I am sure some are curious, I will be running at least part of this marathon barefoot. My goal is completing the half bare before throwing on my Altra Adams (love!) to finish it out. I believe that this marathon - my first - will be a race to remember. I am excited, confident, and fully prepared to enjoy myself.
....and maybe just a little bit nuts.