Friday, January 4, 2013

The Startline

There is something about the racing atmosphere.  Every race is different.  But, the startline is always the same.

My stomach is in knots.  I have raced dozens of races, but every event has me beaming with excitement. And still some nerves.  I'm surrounded by hundreds other like-minded people.  Everyone "gets" me.  I'm up hours before the start of the event, only to find myself rushing for a parking spot.  I am spotted two, three, maybe four times in the port-o-potty line.  And I still somehow think I have to go, once I toe the startline.

I take a moment to check my shoelaces.  I make sure they are still tied, double-knotted.  I check placement of my timing chip.  My bib number is placed strategically on the from of my technical shirt - of course with four safety pins, to prevent it from flapping in the wind.

I over-analyze my gear, what I'm wearing.  Did I dress too warm?  Are my knee-high socks going to slide down.  My hair is held back by a colorful headband.

Oh shoot!  I forgot to apply an anti-chaffing cream before I left the house.

Runners are directed to the starting corral.  I place myself in the middle of the crowd, according to my 9:00 min/mile pace.  The National Anthem starts.  Runners around me mouth the lyrics.  I tear up a little.

The race starts, as runners shuffle toward the startline like a herd of cattle.  I only start my watch once my feet cross the timing mat.  I would hate for my time to be inaccurate.

And there I am, starting another chapter of my journey.  It doesn't matter if it is three miles, 13.1 or 26.2.  It's all the same.  And, I love it.


  1. Great post! I am hoping to get to this same place!

  2. Love it! It gives me the itch to race too, which is unfortunate because there are very few races around here right now.

  3. What a great post!!! I totally know what you are talking about and you described it perfectly..

    Happy running,
    Amanda :0)

  4. Love this! I'm the same way checking everything over and over! For the shoelaces, I use Lock Laces now and LOVE them! No more worrying about untied shoelaces! lol :)

  5. You put this so perfectly! My stomach is always in knots, even if it's a 5k. I don't understand why! I guess it's just the energy, nerves and excitement! I love it too!