I’m used to racing by myself. Not that Steve doesn’t go to most of my races – because he does – but I’ve done enough races that plenty of them have been by myself. Get up, drive, set-up, race, go home.
Doing races by yourself is totally fine. There’s a fear of it out there. So, let me just say: it’s totally fine. In fact, in plenty of cases, it’s preferable to dealing with other people’s weirdo pre-race issues. I’m super picky about who I go to races with now, because I can’t deal with all y’all. There’s the standard fact that the night before most people want to go to bed at 8 p.m. to get extra sleep, which is idiotic, because I don’t usually go to sleep until 11:30 or 12, so what am I going to do, lie there for four hours and stress out? Then, there’s the stress that lots of people bring. And, of course, there’s the more extreme ‘oh my god, I picked the worst person in the world for this 10-hour road trip.’
But, the problem with going to races by yourself is that sometimes it ends up looking like this:
It can be a little hectic, trying to get transitions set-up, get your ducks all in a row, get to the start, get warmed-up, and, most importantly, NOT FREAK OUT when you’re all by yourself amid the crowds. I’ve gotten better at it. I’ve also gotten used to knowing enough people at triathlons that I can generally bum some help or a pump or an extra pair of goggles when mine break. But, marathons aren’t like that. There’s too many people and if you know four out of 40,000 that doesn’t do much good?
So, Steve was supposed to come with me to the Boston Marathon. But, a super big work meeting got rescheduled from March to April 15. And, now I’m without a race sherpa.
Here are some good tips for being a race sherpa or helping someone who is racing. My favorite is don’t yell “Are you ok?” The one I always get from Steve that means I must not look good is: “Just hang tough.”
I have (almost definitely) convinced my friend Brian to come with me to Boston after promising him a hotel and a good time. Hmm. He’s already asked if I’m going to win and if I’ll wear a GoPro so he can make a sped-up video. I told him yes to both. Hopefully, he doesn’t hate me too much and we’ll like party hard in Boston after the race.
Guess that means applications to be my Boston Marathon race buddy are closed.