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How to Be Stupid

September 6, 2008

Follow my example and you too can do something really, really dumb:

1. Decide the weather has cooled off enough to consider running another 5K race. So far, not stupid.

2. Find a race less than two weeks away that’s only five minutes (by car) from home. Sign up. So far, not stupid.

3. Anxiously obsess over how fast the field was in this same race last year. Share anxiety with husband and friends, even non-running friends. Keep reminding yourself (and husband and some friends) that your time in the Father’s Day 5K would have made you second-to-last finisher in 2007 running of race. Consider whether fast field will motivate you to run faster. Consider whether finishing last would be good character-building experience. So far, just slightly stupid because worrying like this is not productive.

4. Friday night, put as many essentials in car as possible so you don’t forget them: iPod, Nike+ (both parts), towel, copy of registration form, etc. Double check race packet pickup location and time; review race route. Here’s where the stupid happens, but that won’t become clear until step 5.

5. Get up Saturday morning. Dress in clothes laid out the night before. Leave plenty early even though don’t have far to go. Get to packet pickup location. Wonder why so few cars in parking lot and no obvious race setup where start and finish lines should be. Go inside building. Wonder where everyone is. Go back out to car. Look at copy of race entry form. See third line from top: Sunday, September 7, 2008. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. At least it wasn’t a long drive to the non-start, so I didn’t waste much gas. And since I showed up a day early rather than a day late, I can still do the race. I won’t get to sleep in like I was looking forward to after getting up early today, but that’s a very minor irritant in the grand scheme of things.

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