I've got the jitters. I'm a little nervous about my first 10-miler coming up this weekend. I've trained and I think I'm more than ready to run the distance, but there's so much more that I hadn't thought about. There's so much more to running a race that I guess I didn't know about or didn't know I should care about. When you identify yourself as a novice runner, anyone who has ever run a race before becomes an expert and everyone has some piece of advice. Over the past month, I've received countless pieces of unsolicited advice on "philosophies" and "strategies" of running. I have had not just one, but many people tell me about how to start, how to finish, and what to do with my splits. All things that until now I hadn't given much thought to. I think the advice is bothering me more than the thought of running down Broad Street on Sunday.
I've quietly listened to the advice, I've digested the advice, and I've really given some thought to it. And the thought is making me nervous. So on Sunday, I'm going to abandon all of the advice. For me, the novice runner, I'm going to stick with my usual philosophy for running and start by putting one foot in front of the other. I'm going to stick my headphones in my ears and hope The Killers, Moe., and AC/DC will keep me going from there. My strategy will be as always: if it feels good, I'll run faster; if it hurts, I'll slow down. My splits won't change that, but as usual, I won't be wearing a watch and I won't be looking at the clocks and calculating splits in my head - I think I'll have enough going on. I'll let my chip tell me my time at the finish and I'll be comparing that time against myself and training runs, not against the other 29,000 people running on Sunday. Being a novice runner, this will be a PR. So although I am thankful for so many people wanting to share their pearls of running wisdom with me, I'm going to just do this. But, I will take any last minute advice on where to pee before the start, that's the kind of advice I could use.