Because it's the beginning of a new year, I'm obviously spending a lot of time with Google Spreadsheets open on my laptop.
That is because I'm an anal retentive psychopath and I plan things as though the act of putting characters into a spreadsheet makes them miraculously occur without any further effort from moi. In reality, it just frees my mind from having to store up all the details so that I can think about important things like thong underwear and new surfaces for the kitchen floor.
Basically, once it goes on the spreadsheet I, instead of continuing to refer back to it like a sensible person might, move on to other things and let all those details just sit and think about themselves while I try to figure out how one might clean spaghetti sauce off of cork. Eventually I make it back to the spreadsheet, yes, but in the mean time I make all kinds of other decisions without the burdensome interference of What races am I doing this year? lying unresolved in the Oh Good, You're Awake! part of my mind.
You know what I'm talking about. That trouble making asshole in your head that clicks on when you wake up in the middle of the night and really want to go back to sleep but all of a sudden your brain has run off in a hundred directions and forces you to go sit in front of the computer at 3:37am doing searches for "arm warmers for running" with your bare buns shivering against the leather of the Steelcase.
Why don't I put on sweats or a robe? Who knows.
What I'm trying to say is that I've tried to fit all the "I'm going to totally do that race in 2011" races into my scheduling and planning and you know what? Conflicts galore.
As though some universal hand of fate wants me to avoid exercising all year so I can just be the fatty it's always wanted me to be.
Take the Mermaid Tri/Duathlon, for instance. After last year's super fun and disaster-free outing on the Cannondale, I came into the finish line proclaiming that I'd "totally do that again!" and also I believed it when I said it. Except that it lands on the day after AIDS Lifecycle finishes up, which wouldn't be the end of the world except that it ends in L.A., which is about 600 miles from where the Mermaid Du starts less than 24 hours later.
Boo. Probably not going to happen. Not that I'm doing the AIDS Lifecycle, Bubba is, but I am roadie-ing and have important responsibilities related to hot-tub finding and ball bandaging, if the circumstances arise.
Think I'm kidding? OK, I am. About the ball part anyway. I have no idea if any balls will require bandaging or if there's any ball maintenance involved in the roadie responsibilities that I'm making up for Bubba myself since I'm not an official "roadie", but rather just his personal roadie because I don't want to set up a million other people's tents or cut up bananas for a week.
Call me selfish, but I really only care about Bubba's well-being for this thing. Everyone else can set up their own bullshit and bandage their own balls. Don't they have awesome spouses like Bubba does? Let's assume they do.
So, yeah - I might have to wait until Mermaid announces the dates for their fall duathlon in Santa Cruz to get a chance to ride the Cannondale to mediocrity again. Look - I'm not winning any of these races (Hi, dad. I love your optimism, as misplaced as it may be.), so I take my satisfaction in races completed without accidental homicides rather than by way of traditional age group awards. I guess I'm just unconventional that way.
There's also the case of the Muddy Buddy I had so wanted to do this year, with me on the run and Bubba on the bike and the two of us murdering people in the giant puddle at the end under cover of filth as we clamored to a shameful victory, except that it lands on a weekend that's already triple booked.
How is that possible? For a weekend 10 months away to be triple booked already? That is some impossible bullshit right there. How can so many different people pick the exact same weekend for such different activities. You think there'd be a law, but no. Friend's wedding, fishing weekend, mud race - all the same weekend - all in different states. And you know the first to get the no-no is the race because the race directors aren't going to be sending us guilt-trippy notes inside ugly Christmas cards for the next 20 years because we flaked on seeing them speak their marital vows and then drink banquet beer from a red cup.
So what races WILL I run this year?
Not sure. I skipped the first trail race of the year because I thought the weather was going to be shit-tastic and it was, so that's gone. There's one tomorrow that I totally blanked on and then the next one is at the end of the month at the exact moment when we'll be pulling into Steamboat for a week of snow orgies.
The first one I can see coming to pass is likely the Diablo Trails Challenge in March, but it's already filling up, so I'll have to pull the trigger on that sometime soon.
The important thing that I've decided, however, in all my planning and scheduling and filling in of tiny cloud cells, is that there is one race that I had on the "I'm totally doing that race in 2011" list that I'm so totally not doing: the Seattle Rock n Roll half.
Yeah, I thought I was only taking 2010 off from half marathons, but what really happened was that I took 2010 off from half marathons while also realizing that I'm kinda over road running for a while. Sure, I'll do the duathlon with its run portions on roads and trails, but that's going to absorb all the 2011 Interest In Running on the Roads I have to offer.
To put another nail in that coffin, when I was last out at Sanborn Park punishing and then rewarding myself with that mountain's steep ass climbs and downhills, I actually threw down the dough for an annual parking pass so that I wouldn't have to scrounge up $6 from Bubba's wallet (KIDDING. I take it from the disabled kid's jar at Safeway.)(KIDDING. I take it from our laundry change jar.)(Seriously. It's all in nickles and quarters. How pathetic.) every time I wanted to run there.
So now the challenge is to make use of that pass so that I don't feel like a baboon's red ass at the end of the year. My calculations tell me that will mean I need to run there once a month to break even. And *that* tells me that running on the road just became an expensive and boring alternative to running in the mountains at any of the parks we have around here.
And all that tells me that I didn't need a spreadsheet to organize my running plans for the year. I could have just put it right here: Run in the mountains as much as possible. Run any trail races that don't conflict with any other bullshit that's somehow already on the calendar. GO.
Well, *I* feel better.
:: Random side note here is that I dislike how Blogger doesn't recognize "duathlon" as a word. It comes up on the spellchecker and offers a slew of other -athlons like biathlon, triathlon, decathlon, but acts like a duathlon isn't a real thing and I take offense to that. Suck it, spellchecker - it IS a real thing and I have the cheesy pictures to prove it. And just to spite you: duathlon, duathlon, duathlon, duathlon, duathlon, duathlon. Ha.
I win. ::