Pride will prevail in Russell runPublished 12:15pm Friday, February 22, 2013
It started out great.
The entire TPI editorial staff made plans for the Russell Forest Run.
My managing editor Virginia and I started training and training hard. For a few weeks, we did really well – managing to squeeze in some running after putting the paper to bed each night.
I started losing weight, my time was going down and then … well, and then it started going downhill.
Three times a week turned into two, two into one. Then one turned into … maybe tomorrow.
I am not prepared. As of last Friday, the prospect of grits and keg beer has been enough to keep my mind from dwelling on the task I have set myself up to fail.
There has been a growing sense of peer pressure in the office – we were all accountable to each other, and no one wanted to be the odd man out.
This too was helping me keep my eyes on the prize.
The situation went from bad to worse this weekend, however. Sometime around Saturday afternoon, while I was deep in the Talladega National Forest, I felt a twinge of pain in my throat.
I didn’t really think anything of it. I drank some water and kept hiking on.
By the time I got off the trail Sunday, however, the twinge of pain had turned into a constant annoyance. When I looked into the mirror, my fears were confirmed. A picture perfect infection was brewing in my left tonsil – a sight I learned to identify from a childhood plagued with step throat.
Monday afternoon I picked up my antibiotics – officially beginning my 10-day alcohol hiatus that is recommended and taking from me one motivating factor to complete the race.
Still, I couldn’t fail my coworkers. But by Tuesday afternoon, two out of the four reporters had bailed.
Without the promise of an alcoholic awards ceremony and with few people left to let down, I seriously considered bailing on the run as well.
Luckily, however, Virginia’s resolve was still intact. Unfortunately, she too had fallen ill.
I made the mistake of relying on external sources of motivation. Yet there is one thing neither sickness nor procrastination can quell – my pride.
So I might not get my ideal time Saturday. All forecasts suggest I will be at the rear of the pack.
But I am going to finish what I started. Look for me – I’ll be the guy wheezing at the finish line with a bottle of NyQuil.
Nelson is news editor for The Outlook.