Getting over my fear of commitment

I’ve got serious commitment issues.

I choose which races I’ll run months ahead of time, circling race ads in the back of Runner’s World like a normal woman might earmark wish-list items from a J. Crew catalog. I print out training schedules and follow them to the letter. This time, I’m even blogging about my training for the National Half Marathon on March 21.

The one thing I don’t do: actually sign up for the race.

This is a thing with me. Unless I have reason to fear that the race will fill up quickly, I postpone, and postpone, and postpone, often waiting until race day to officially throw my hat in the ring. Sometimes, I even wait so long I miss the race entirely, which happened with the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. This was especially rough, as I’d done most of my long runs for the race by the time I realized registration had closed.

I tell myself waiting to sign up is a smart move to avoid losing a bunch of money on a race that I may be unable to run for some reason. I know it’s actually more of a stupid defense mechanism to avoid committing myself wholly to a race.

Not this time. I’m proud to announce that I’ve finally signed up for the race I’ve been publicly training for and blogging about for weeks.

This is a big step for me. Maybe it’s just because I’m usually too tired to sprint at the end of a race, but I like to think of the simple act of committing myself to a race as gutsy, if we’re using George Sheehan’s definition: “Some think guts is sprinting at the end of a race. But guts is what got you there to begin with. Guts start in the back hills with six miles to go and you’re thinking of how you can get out of this race without anyone noticing.”

Looking for motivation? Read about Sheehan, a cardiologist, runner and writer from my home county in New Jersey.

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