Do I Have the Guts?

To run this 7-mile race?

I’ve been running between five and fifteen kilometers a week for about three years now. I never really think of myself as a runner, since I only do it because I enjoy that freedom of movement and that much-vaunted runner’s high. But a young girl asked me the other day, while we were talking about some stuff “You’re a runner, aren’t you?”

And you know what? I realized that I kinda am. I don’t just run. I am a runner. I wouldn’t give it up for love or money at this point.

So, why don’t I raise the stakes a little?

I’m about to enter my first race. It would be, like every run I take, a race against myself. I have no expectation of beating any other human. I don’t wonder so much if I can finish it, or how fast–I think I can predict these things–but whether I have the guts to let other people see me possibly fail. Or wear the “wrong” socks. Or look all red in the face and frazzled at the end. And, most likely, “lose”. Even though, for me, just to show up would be a win.

To be honest, my times are abysmal. I’m nowhere near what I wish I was. Seven miles is about twice my usual run, which is habitually 5-6k. That’s all I have time for most days. The top females my age last year did it in about an hour, and I’m pretty sure I can do close to that, anyway.

I’ve never competed, except with myself. I don’t do things for spectators. Is my social phobia so deeply buried (carnivore did that) that I will actually make it out on the big day? And actually do it? Just showing up would be a win.

I’ll let you know if I’m a winner or a loser when the day comes. I just hit “submit registration”.