An unconventional race week: Option paralysis

Did you ever forget that you signed up for a race? Or confused the dates? Or said: Hey, sure I’ll join you in that race. Sounds like fun. Then realize you’ve put yourself in back-to-back events. Only this realization comes after you’ve already paid the entry fee? Yep. Welcome to how I got myself into this Race Week predicament. Less than a month to go in my marathon training and I slapped in not one but TWO races for fun. This will either be the best idea I ever had or it will end badly, like that episode of I Love Lucy where she can’t keep up with assembly line at the chocolate factory.

On Saturday, I’ll be participating in the Dirty Girl Mud Run and Obstacle Course event. It’s a 5K course with 11 obstacles ranging from a water pit to hay bales to running through tires to climbing a cargo net. There is no chip timing. It is not a competitive event. It sounded interesting when I first heard about it and my new friends Tracy and Staci from Musselman put together a huge team of women to participate. Turns out one of my good friends from my first newspaper job is also doing the Dirty Girl event. I’m hoping she and I can stick together. Because I don’t handle obstacles well. Perhaps this is character revealing. In fact, I’m sure it is. And therein lies some of the fear of the event — it’s not just the physical nature of the course but what I may learn about myself. Sometimes, I’m not sure I actually want to know those answers.

Then cue up Sunday when I travel to Canandaigua, N.Y. for the sprint edition of the Finger Lakes Triathlon. I’ve done this race once and I loved it. The lake is beautiful — clean and clear — and the story goes that you can walk the swim course. (Although I recall doing this my first year of triathlon and upon an attempt to put my feet down to rest found I could not touch the bottom. So I’m not sure of the accuracy of the “you can walk the swim course” statement.) My friend Mary is doing the race, though she’s in the intermediate distance so I’ll get to hang with her for a while. Why throw in this tri? To be honest? I wanted to keep up my swim training, the triathlon is fun and my friend is doing it, too. Not exactly deep thinking, but logic which to me seems pretty solid.

The bottom line for both these events? They sound like fun. They sound like things right up my alley, things which allow me to do the things I absolutely love (triathlon) and challenge me to go outside my comfort zone (obstacle course). It gives me a slight break from my marathon training, although I still have a solid 25K (15.5 mile) run on Friday. And perhaps the short bursts of energy and activity will help freshen me physically and mentally.

I am the girl who wants to do everything. In the past that desire as led to option paralysis — when faced with a multitude of choices, I would chose nothing. That, to be honest, was not a fun way to live. This? Well, it might be a little crazy, but I think the adventure is worth the risk.

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