I am training for a half-marathon.
For the past few months I've been scared to tell anyone for fear that race day will come and go, and I will not have been there, having become slowly overcome by the daunting task of 13.1 miles and ultimately deciding to stay home and eat ice cream instead.
But two weeks ago I paid my entry fee and registered online and marked October 10, 2010, on my calendar. Wichita, Kansas, is where I will be, doing something I have put on my to-do list for the past three years, only to discover that I'm too lazy to actually train. But not this year. This year I was inspired.
So I started running.
It's hot in Oklahoma, and running these past months has been hard. Despite the advice from numerous running guides to not have a time goal for a first race, I can't help but secretly set a goal for myself. Not to merely finish, but to do it in good time. At least, a good time for me.
And so the doubt sets in. The agonizing thought that come race day, I won't be able to find my pace. That my car has inaccurately clocked out mileage, and what I thought was four miles was actually two, and I've been training at a ridiculously slow pace.
No, that's ridiculous. Four miles is four miles. Likewise, 13.1 is 13.1, which I will feel every step of come October.
I must not fail. I shall not fail.
But that's a long freaking way.