I was perusing the website of the Salt Lake City Marathon last night in an attempt to psyche myself up a little bit for my race in April when-- suddenly-- it hit me.
I am Scared. To. Death. of this race.
This will be the biggest race by a wide margin that I have ever run. Now, granted, Salt Lake City is no New York City. Or Boston. Or even Cleveland. But compared to any race I've run before, I'm in for a very different experience.
Last November, I ran a half-marathon that boasted around 650 people. At the time, that was the biggest race I had ever run. There was a huge crowd at the start and at no time during the race was I more than 20 yards either ahead or behind another runner. Coming from my earlier marathon during which there were stretches when I couldn't even see another runner, I thought I had finally arrived. Look at me and my bad self running with 650 other people!
Salt Lake City will have around 4,500 runners in the combined marathon and half-marathon. That's FOUR THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED runners for those who missed it. And although I'm the first to admit math is not my strong suit, I'm pretty confident in stating that's a heckuva lot more people than 650.
No doubt a Kenyan whose name I cannot pronounce will win the Salt Lake City marathon in just over two hours (the time it'll take me to run the half). Little bit different from my previous race experiences in which a funny-looking white guy named "Dave" has taken the title. Port-a-potties are destined to have lines during which the time it takes to wait, I could easily crochet a small, but lovely afghan. And for somebody who suffers a relatively healthy dose of claustrophobia in large crowds, I'm just a little concerned I'll snap under the stress and collapse at the starting line in a frozen-statue position, annoying everyone else when they have to make way for the EMT's to come through to revive me.
Just getting to the starting line in the first place is making me break out in hives. I'm going to have to take TRAX (Salt Lake City's public transporation system) to get into downtown. For a girl who comes from a place where the only public transportation system is for potatoes, I'm fairly intimidated here. What happens if I get on the wrong train? What happens if I get off at the wrong stop? What happens if I end up in Cleveland? Needing a port-a-potty?
Suddenly, I'm feeling like a chihuahua in a fenced yard full of rottweilers.
Help me, I whimper.