~ Paulo Coelho
SISU teammate, Matt G., about the upcoming Friday Night Lights 10,000M Championship, a USATF race that would be happening right down the street from me in Cambridge on the track. There would be an elite race, an open race and a Masters race (40+), so something for everyone. My last race on the track was a 5K at Colgate University in 1996. Yes, my friends, 20 years ago. When I read the email, my initial reaction was, Oooh, this sounds fun and different, perhaps I should give it a go. No, for real, I said that. Out loud. (insert head scratch) I'm currently training for a fall marathon so I emailed my coach to see if we could work it into my training. He was all for it, letting me know that we could used it as a second workout for that week and agreed it would probably be exciting. Super! I went ahead and registered and then put it on the back burner. And then suddenly it was July. About three days before the race, which I would be running as a member of both the SISU Project and Skechers Performance teams, I got an email with the final heat sheets and race instructions. Curious to see how I stacked up against my competitors, I opened it up to assess. I saw seed info for four different races, none of which were labeled MASTERS. Then, upon further inspection, I saw my name in the Women's Elite race....look closely, I'm down there at the bottom...seeded 19th out of 21.
After a brief moment of panic, I sent a text to my friend and Skechers rep, Dave Ames, who had been the one to register our team.
Me: Dave - what happened to the Masters Race?
Dave: There weren't enough Masters signed up. You're with the Women's Elite race instead.
Me: Ummmm. That wasn't the plan.
Dave: Relax, Trax. You'll be fine.
New plan. Instead of jumping into a 10,000M race with a handful of 40+ women to test my fitness and give myself a solid workout, I would now be running with a bunch of young fasties who were out for the win. Oh, wait....there would be one other Masters runner in my heat.....I'd be competing against Sheri Piers, Olympic trials qualifier and one of the top Masters runners in the country. That made me feel so much better. Note the sarcasm.
- Trust yourself. You've got this!!
- Enjoy the pain train and that awesome feeling of crossing the finish line!
- You will do fine. Just run your race.
- It's just an opportunity to show your fitness. Enjoy every step!
- Go crush it champ.