Laying Out the Lil’ Racer ….

26 06 2011

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I know I keep nattering allong about Spring Semester’s stress management class, but I learned a lot and it is hard to chisel things into my brain.

The question was opened to the room: “What stresses you out on a daily basis?” One gal nervously giggled in the back saying that she was stressed out about what to wear. Instead of saying her issue was silly or low on the stress priority scale, Coach Tetro seized the moment and, in his animated way, explained the concept of laying out his “Little Man” the night before to relieve the stress of what to wear in the morning. Through the semester, he checked in with the girl in the back and it worked.

When I first started racing, I was pretty anal retentive about laying out, for lack of a better term,  my “Lil’ Racer.”  When I went out of town, I would lay out my race clothes on my carry-on backpack and extra things on my luggage. For local races, I would lay things out on my dining room table (a good thing about living alone). I would get to my race and clumsily warm up.

After a while, however, I stopped laying out my Lil’ Racer. For local races, I would have my number on the counter, and just take the whole thing for granted. I can do a 5K distance. No reason to take it seriously. Not a terrific attitude.

Laziness spreads. As I was dealing with injuries, I was disenchanted with everything. I can do the distance, and training was hurting. Also, as other stressors in my life started to infringe on my training time, I stopped respecting the fact that every race I do (from 10k to 50k – I want to try one of these), is built on the back of the 5K.

To be honest, 5K’s and I have had a love/hate relationship. I just take forever to warm up, but like respecting the fact that one can drown in only a few inches of water, I have to respect the 5K distance.

Last night, I picked a friend up at the airport and popped him off at his house. I didn’t get home until around 11:20 PM. I took the dog out and laid out my Lil’ Racer.

I didn’t do it completely, but I did get the necessary stuff ready: bib number, compression shorts, socks & shoes. Since I wear toe socks, I laughed when I laid out two left socks.

Interestingly, I easily fell asleep in the Denver heat and then woke up easily. When Miss Bailey Boo followed me into the kitchen, she looked up at me as if to say “Ok Padawan, you have to resepct each race and enjoy them for what they are! Now eat your oatmeal & coffee!”

So, as I sit here choking down watered down Powerade, I think that by respecting each race, I might start to get that race high again. Sure, there are medical reasons that make it a little harder to get the pre-race jitters that get me ready to go, but respecting every distance as a stepping stone toward racing faster at my longer distances will go a long way.

In training of my favorite ice skating events, Mr. Gene Turner had me learn the little steps that lead to the footwork that I mated to the music. Even when I felt lost in a routine, I could make up time with footwork.

So – it is time to eat, get into my Lil’ Racer and get going.

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