Sunday, September 30, 2012

Peer pressure

One would assume that a person who is an adult, at least by most of society's standards, would be comfortable and confident in his/her decision-making capacity and would be immune to the influence of his/her peers.  That if, this person is signing up for a race and believes that the 30K would be fun but way too long and challenging (3,000+ feet of elevation gain), he/she would trust his/her better judgment and would go with the 19K (or 18K or whatever it is).  That this person would not succumb to people telling her "Oh, come on!  It's not that much more elevation that the Mt. Wilson run!  You can do the 30K!".  And she would not go home, after drinking margaritas, and sign up for the 30K.

But that is exactly what went down last weekend.  In my shame I didn't want to report on this until I fully wrapped my head around the fact that I just might get my ass kicked on November 18 at the Santa Monica Mountains Pacific Coast Trail Run (long title!).  I do think that it will be a gorgeous run, and I'm excited and nervous about the challenge of a 30k.  This will be the longest run since my 1996 (yes, I'm old) Philly marathon.  So, the plan for the next few weeks is to run at least three times a week (which isn't much for some people, but I've slacked off since August) and build up my long runs, incorporating plenty of hills and focusing on long, slow distance.

As for the 30K, I actually had been knocking around that idea, so I can't abdicate any responsibility, as much as I'd like to point the finger elsewhere.  In fact, a week before signing up for the race, I hit "reply all" when someone inquired about different people's interest in the Santa Monica run and said that I was in for the 30K.  I did not, however, realize to how many people I replied until several people at school came up and said "The 30K?!?!".  So, the seed had been planted well before a friend reasoned with me about the elevation issue.

As much as I'm nervous about the distance and the elevation and the challenge of a trail run, I also think that it will be great.  This is the only fall race for which I'm gearing up, which is a change from the last two years when I ran lots of different distances (5k, 10k, 20k, even a half-marathon) and focused on speed, to a certain degree.  I'll be happy with a good strong race in a beautiful setting and running a new and more challenging distance, for me.

Training started this past week, and my first long run in a while will be this coming Saturday.  At that point, I can decide if the decision was foolish or not!


kilax said...

I was wondering which one you signed up for! I am happy peer pressure got the best of you on this one. You will have fun! :)

mindful mule said...

Just don't try to break any speed records out there and you'll be fine. Walk the uphills and jog the downs. Drink lots of fluids. Eat lots of snacks. Wear a hat. You know, all the things Mother Runner tells us to do.

Kristina said...

Kim - It should be fun, and I think that it will be doable!

Rob - I was sort of trying to lay the blame elsewhere, but I think that the idea of a 30K really appealed to me. I'm going to remember your sage advice!

mindful mule said...

Just be glad you didn't have one more margarita or you'd be running the 50K!