I haven't worked out since October. I haven't been running since our horrible showing in the Great Urban Race Nationals at the beginning of November. I can't remember the last time I went hiking. I've barely played any soccer for the past few months either because of the holidays and weeks off in between seasons and games I've missed for work travel. I have truly let myself go.
I'm up 5% of my weight. I'm out of shape. I tried to run last week and couldn't even make it a mile. Yikes. This nonsense has to stop! And it has to stop right now!
Why? Because race season starts on January 29th!
This is my spring schedule:
January 29 - Scavenger Dash. Last year we placed second which leads to some pretty high expectations for this year. Last year I was in shape and the race was in downtown Phoenix where I'd worked for 5 years. This year, I'm not in shape at all and the race is in Tempe, a city in which I've spent almost no time in the past 5 years. Not a good combination for a repeat performance.
February 12 - Challenge Nation. I know almost nothing about this race. This will be their first year in Phoenix. So far I'm not that impressed...their race is less than 4 weeks away and they haven't even opened up registration yet. Hurry up, Challenge Nation! Google tells me that they've offered Groupons for the race in other cities in the past. I am assuming they'll do the same here in an effort to get a big enough showing. I hope so!
March 5 - CitySolve. Talk about high expectations! Last year we won this race. We went to Nationals and made it into the finals. They are expecting us to do well. PRESSURE!
March 12 - Great Urban Race. This is the big-daddy of the races. They get hundreds of teams. Two years ago (in our first ever urban adventure race) we finished third. Last year, to our dismay, we finished fourth. Two years ago we finished 14th at Nationals. This past year we finished something like 65th! Definitely a trend going in the wrong direction here!
March 19 - CityScape Adventure. We won this race this fall, primarily because we were the only team there who had ever done a race like this before. This year the race is in Tempe. Why is everyone going to Tempe? I don't know Tempe!! However, the pressure isn't too high for this race because it's more of a fun race than a competitive one. Whew.
March 26 - Urban Dare. No pressure for this one either as I'll be racing with Pat again this year. When I signed up with Pat last year, I thought that he might help answer my question about how a race like this can possibly take 4 hours? What it is that the slow teams are doing out there for 4 hours?!? Our race included walking most of the way (at Pat speed, NOT Jill speed), going to 5th Avenue instead of 5th Street on one of the clues and thus having to backtrack for a mile and a half, and stopping at Circle K for lottery tickets and Big-Ass Cokes. I thought we would be bottom-half for sure. Yet, we still finished 14th out of 71!! My question was not answered.
April 9 - Oyster Urban Adventure. We did this race in Denver two years ago for my birthday. I think we even placed in the bottom half so there is nowhere to go but up! Yay! I'm pretty sure just being in my hometown will be enough of a factor to put us in the top half. This race is different than the others: it is an out-and-back race, it requires teams of three, it includes biking and it takes a half day instead of two hours. I'm really looking forward to it!
April 30 - Warrior Dash. This is more of a mud-run than an Urban Adventure Race but it includes running through fire, so that's fun.
I'm afraid we had a case of the beginners luck in urban adventure races. Our first year, we were unstoppable. Our second year was okay, but we're definitely on a downward trend. I'm nervous that this third year will not be good. Part of the reason that we did so well in the Phoenix races is that I was armed with stellar city knowledge. Since I worked downtown, I used to spend my lunch hours in the weeks before races walking all the streets so I'd know where everything is. Since I no longer work downtown, I can't do that anymore. It's been a long time since I've been down there and lots of new stuff has opened. I'm pretty sure I've lost my edge. Also, as I mentioned, many of the races are in Tempe this year. I have NO advantage there. I didn't even go to ASU! And, of course, at this point I can't even run a mile. Things are looking bleak for my competitive self.
At least there will be some costume contests. I like costumes.