Race Morning

Up at 5:45 a.m. It says it's 1 degree. Could this be true? Drink my beet juice. Drink my maccha and a Rumble. Head outside for a jog. Only the police, and the volunteers setting up the finish line. It's brisk. Hands and ears are uncovered, cold. Just a shuffle at this hour. Getting the blood moving. The legs moving. City streets littered with pizza boxes, slick with spilled beer. A Canuck victory. I heard the shouts last night and covered my head with the pillow, rolled from my left side to my right.

Some light plyometrics to wake the nervous system. Body sluggish. Body heavy. Yesterday I woke with a sore back. First time. An old man's pain. I can't tell if it's bothering me as I run. I haven't been at race speed. Here in the early hour I feel it tugging at my left side.

Back where I'm staying I look at the BC Athletics blog. The top seed has already qualified for this summer's World Championships in Moscow. He went to my high school. In this race I'm not even the fastest of my high school alums, not even the fastest graduate from South Secondary School, London. Robbie Watson. He's funny as hell. And he works hard. He deserves anything that comes his way.

I don't know what shape I'm in. There's barely any wind. By race start it should be another degree warmer. Two celsius. No excuses. It was one degree for my last race. Too cold for the shorts and singlet I wore. This time I brought a pair of tights and cut them at the knees. I brought arm warmers, gloves. Long socks. 1:08:02. 1:06:33. I'm hoping to break at least one of those marks. But. I don't know.