I'm racing tonight, sort of.
In a few hours I'll be heading to the hilly town of Holden for the 45th running of the Fred S. Warren 5.5 Mile Road Race. This will be the fourth time I've contested this mid-summer Central Mass. classic, and for the record, the course is no longer than 5.3 miles, so if you're checking results tomorrow and it looks like I blazed the sucker, trust me, I didn't.
And believe me, I'm not going to try to, either. My goal for tonight's "race" is to get in a steady, solid effort, and if the cards fall in my favor (to be read: if Mike Smith or Mike Banks decide not to show up), win the thing. The idea is to not blow out the tubes before Beach 2 Beacon next weekend, where the stage will be a little bigger and the competition a little stiffer.
So why worry about winning at all then? Well, my reason is two-fold. First, and quite simply, I don't like losing. Second, I'll have first dibs at one of the dozens of brilliant merchandise prizes this race is known for dishing out afterward. Last year, I won a handy hand mixer after finishing sixth in a rather unspectacular 30:58. Since I'm a little more fit this summer - I think - I figure I'll be a few places and a couple minutes ahead of that tonight, which should open up a world of possibilities - perhaps a toaster, set of gas cans, extra-large lawn blanket or that charcoal grill I had my eye on last year. Stay tuned to see how I make out.