Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 125 - Mini

It's like a being a football fan who doesn't watch the Super Bowl. Or an American Idol watcher who skips the final episode. Or being 7 feet tall having never played basketball.

I'm a runner in Central Indiana and I'm not running the Mini.

The Mini is the 500 Festival Mini (i.e. half) Marathon. In and around Indianapolis, it is THE running event. When runners meet, they ask each other about their Mini PR (best time) and talk about how the conditions were last year and how their training for this year is going. Casual runners shuffle through it and wear the medal as a badge of courage, and vow never to do that again.

I'm not saying I haven't run it. I've run it 14 times, every year but one (1997 for an injury) since 1993. But not since 2007.

In 2008 I even trained for it. Thing is, I'd gotten used to getting in for free and at the last minute thanks to a friend with connections. And I didn't know until a couple of weeks before the race, that the connections had dried up.

I didn't have a number. The race had been full for months.

I wasn't hurt. I wasn't dead. And yet, I wasn't going to be running the Mini.

For a day or so, I was pretty shocked. How could they run the Mini without me?

But they did. And I survived. In fact I ended up traveling that weekend and had a great time.

The next year I was in crappy shape and worse mood. Knowing that the world wouldn't stop, I just didn't sign up. On mini day, I ran a 10-miler with Rob and hosed my back.

This year, by the time I thought about it, it was already full. I could have managed to get an entry, but by then my streak was the thing. Sure, it would have made for a good blog entry, probably some fun pictures, but the training was going to push me pretty hard and my heart wasn't in it. And I was fine with that. Been there. Done that. Have a drawer full of T-shirts.

Until this week. The week before the mini. The week when everyone is tapering (training less to let their bodies recover before the big race), and making plans for packet-pick-up, and talking about their pre-race eating plans, and how they're going to get downtown, and what the weather is going to be like, and what their race strategy is going to be.

I miss the anticipation. I miss the butterflies. I miss being a part of a big, exciting, cool event. I miss all of that a lot more than I miss the race.

Good running,

Numbers: 4.3 miles on pavement. Sweaty.