Monday, March 22, 2010


Photo: Adam Baker, Flickr Creative Commons

I just remembered that the sign up for the Peachtree Road Race was yesterday. As soon as this crossed my mind I went to the web site to register only to discover that the online registration had already closed. My only chance to still run the race is to get a copy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday, fill out the form and hope I win the lottery for the last 10,000 spots in the race. I know that sounds like a lot and like I have a great chance to still get in, but I can't know that for sure. They filled 45,000 slots in less than 24 hours online. Who knows how many losers like me and the more laissez-faire types will be fighting for those slots. Oh, and finding a copy of the Sunday AJC may be difficult. I live so far south of Atlanta that it's not easy to find that paper on sale around here. It's actually easier to find a paper out of Jacksonville, FL, than it is to find the paper of record of the capital of my own state.

Here's the annoying thing. I know that it really wouldn't be a huge loss if I couldn't get into this race. After all, there are literally dozens of 10k races just as close or closer to me between now and July when the Peachtree is run. I can always run something else. After all, the whole point of this goal was to get myself in shape and prove that I'm capable of doing something I've never done before. I've already lost ten pounds in only the first month of training for the race. I've already gotten huge satisfaction from the progress I've seen in myself. If I were rational, those would be fine reasons to just shrug, put my running shoes on after tennis practice today and just run, perfectly content in the fact that I'm doing myself some good. The problem is that I'm not an entirely rational person. Only those with certain types of mental illness or "disabilities" like autism and injuries to certain parts of the brain are entirely rational. I have to admit that I feel a little crushed at the moment. It's not enough to make me quit, but it's a significant bit of disappointment, and I'm worried that it'll turn into a lens that will magnify that mild ache in the side of my left shin and any discomfort or boredom I may experience during a training run and make it that much more difficult to push on through and work toward that goal. So far, I've not missed a day on my schedule. I've even run in the dark, the rain, and near-freezing temperatures. Now I'm worried I won't have that drive to keep going.

I know I'll keep training until I find out if I won a spot in the Peachtree, and if my registration is accepted, my motivation will be renewed. If I find out I didn't make the draw, I'm not sure I'll keep it up, though. I was only planning on continuing with my current level of training until the race itself. I want to keep running after the Peachtree, but I'll have no reason to run more than ten miles a week. I can lose weight and keep fit enough for my needs at about half that much running. I do really need some big goal to drive anything that's going to require any real effort and motivation, and I've long since romanticized the Peachtree. I can find another 10k to run. Finding one is pretty easy. I never realized how common these races where until I started training and researching. During this spring there seems to be at least one every weekend just in the metro-Atlanta area alone. Many of these are run on certified courses and timed automatically by chips in the bib. They just aren't the same huge deal that the Peachtree is, and they won't be able to fill that motivational hole the Peachtree could leave.

And yes, I'm perfectly aware that this post shows that, despite my typical reputation as a rational and cavalier individual, I can be just as much of a head case as the rest of you.


Julie said...

Why don't you have one of your ATL based friends pick up a paper for you? I would offer to do it myself but we've got plans this weekend. Good luck!

Jacob said...

I'm actually working on it. Turns out that the AJC only has a 20-county distribution these days. I'm very much outside of any logical 20-county distribution for Atlanta considering Macon and Athens don't even make the cut (must be nice for the Athens Banner-Herald, though).

I'll probably end up getting my in-laws to mail it if anyone does. My mother-in-law would be perfectly happy to do it. I'm hoping to find someone with a scanner instead who can just e-mail me a scanned copy of the page to fill out and mail back. There's only about a week turnaround between when it's published and when I have to have it postmarked. I'm trying to avoid having to trust the mail system twice.

Courtney said...

Congrats on the 10 lbs! That is awesome. And I'd be more than happy to get a paper and scan the form for you. I can even get the Sunday paper on Saturday afternoon so you'll have a leg up on it. E-mail me if you want me to do that -- it's really no problem at all.

Mickey got into the race, but only because he logged on to the registration site 10 minutes early and started refreshing the second the countdown was up. It still took him several tries to get in, so I'm not surprised those who waited a few hours were shut out.