Some of my running friends and I have a special racing buddy – his (or her) name is Fred. None of us know what Fred looks like, but we’ve all encountered him in various races. Sometimes running with Fred is the goal; other times it’s what happens when a good race goes bad and we’re searching for something positive in the remaining miserable miles.
Fred means fun, Fred means running for the sake of running, without worrying about the time on the clock. To be honest, I’ve never raced with Fred – yet. There’s something about pinning on a number that bring out the psychotic speed demon who is never really satisfied with the numbers on the finish line clock. I’ve always envied my friends who race with Fred, because they’re the ones who are going to keep toeing the line at races long after PR setting is behind them. They’re the ones who embody what running is all about, because we’re all going to start slowing down at some point, and if time is our only goal, eventually the running will stop.
Today I’m registering for a race that will have to be run with Fred. It’s a half marathon, and it’s in 4 weeks. My longest run in the last 6 months has been 8 miles, and I’ve done that, ummmm, about 3 times. Now throw in a week’s vacation right before the race, where long runs most likely won’t happen, and the picture of a drastically undertrained “racer” is even more clear.
But (there’s always a but), the race is in one of my favorite cities, only a 40 minute drive from my house, and it’s on the routes my husband and I have run on so many times. The best part – it’s at the end of freaking July!!! I love summer running, I love being hot during a run (yeah, I know…), and I love the fact that I don’t have to drive to the wilds of Montana and start at the top of a mountain to run a half in July.
Get ready Fred. You and I have a date on July 26th in Ft. Collins, CO.