What if?

Saturday night, I was hanging out with a bunch of really old people. I was at my 40-year high school class reunion. (Class of 1974, Chippewa Hills.)

Then I got in the car, drove to St. Charles, Illinois, for the fifth annual Fox Valley Marathon. I snoozed a couple times on the way there for a half-hour, then rolled into the race site at about 2:15 a.m. Dave Sheble and a couple of his crew were there, still working.

Normally I would go down the day before, but I wanted to see my old friends. Then again, I couldn’t miss seeing my guys in Fox Valley. In early 2010, when they were thinking about starting a marathon, they called me for a conversation. That event turned into a great friendship. I’d really hate to miss their event.

But in my haste to get there on time, I neglected to take my race pouch with me that had my Chapstick, my anti-friction stuff and where I usually carry my phone. As I got ready for the race Sunday morning, I discovered that my stuff wasn’t in my backpack. Darn.

Then this morning, I got this question in my email. It seemed appropriate to discuss for a couple minutes:

“Got a question for you. With less than 30 days until the marathon, my nerves are kicking in, playing the ‘what if’ game. What if I forget to bring something? What if I start too fast? What if I get dehydrated? Blah, blah, blah. You’ve been through this process before… how do you silence those voices, reassuring yourself that everything’s going to be just fine?”

Remind you of anybody? I dug a little sample-size of Aquaphor out of my backpack and lubricated anywhere that might chafe. I was running on about three hours of sleep, all of which happened in my car.

How do you silence the voices? I have a rule: IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT, YOU DON’T NEED IT! You will adapt – your brain is very resourceful. I got through the marathon without the usual stuff. No tunes. No glide products, no Chapstick. Aquphor on my lips and stuff. Silence the voices? Screw that. Just sing along with them. They’re coming from your own head anyway. And if you don’t like the tune, change the channel.