The Runner's Truth or Dare Series: DARE

By: Rachel Gibson

That's right; I'm going all 4th grade slumber party on you all. DARE. I dare you…to run a longer race than you'd planned to this year.

It might seem intimidating, but that's the point of a dare, right? And I want to hear all about it, whether it's a 10k after you've mastered the couch-to-5k program, a full instead of your usual half marathon, or something ridiculously long like a 100 miler; let's do this together! Solidarity!

For me, it's a 50k. Which seems…scary, to say the least. I know it's only 5 miles more than a marathon, but for some reason, going that extra distance seems like something my body can't handle.

Like I might fail.

Something about being out of my nice, done-it-a-million-times-before comfort zone and having to think about drop bags (A what? A drop bag? Just how long will I be out there?!?) makes those butterflies, which have been absent for so long, flutter back into the pit of my stomach.

It's intimidating.

But that's the challenge, right? To grow. To be scared. To look the dare in the eye and come out the other side much better than any of those childish feats we proposed at those elementary school slumber parties (I'm pretty sure a 29 year old running a 50k is a much better dare outcome than a 29 year old prank calling the local grocery store asking if their refrigerator is still running. Not that I ever did the latter. Ever.). Here's my five-step plan of attack:

  1. Run one “comfortable length” race first, just to remind myself that I can.
  2. Find someone who has run that longer distance.
  3. Annoy the tar out of them with questions, pleas for advice, and perhaps even accountability and a buddy on race day. (My friends reading this are now changing their cell phone numbers to avoid my pestering.)
  4. Train, train, train!
  5. Reward myself after completing said long race. Some people do that with food. Others with beer. I plan to combine those in a state of carbo-goodness followed by a legitimate splurge on shoes. After all, I’m going to earn it, right?

So change outta those New Kids on the Block/NSYNC/Justin Beiber pajamas and into some training gear. Sign up for a challenge. I dare you!

For more random blather, follow me on Twitter: @nomad_runner!

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