I am running in my first 5k race this weekend. My goal is to run the entire race and not walk during any part of it. I run that distance several days a week, but my pace is slow, and I’ve never entered a race before. It’s just something I want to do before I get old. If I wait too much longer, my knees or heels may give out and blow my chances of ever doing it. I’d like to say I don’t care how high I finish, but that would be a lie. I’m extremely competitive. I’m a terrible loser. I am worried that my desire to place well in my age category will override my brain and I’ll poop out too soon. I’m going to try my best to stick with the pace I know will allow me to finish without walking. My family doesn’t quite understand why I want to do this, but they are supportive nonetheless. (It's kind of the same attitude they take toward my Parrothead activities...kind of odd but what can it hurt.) It’s all about personal achievement. I just want to be able to say I’ve done it. Self satisfaction is good for the soul. I’m nervous about running next to people who practice “tapering” and “carb loading” and all of that other running stuff. On the bright side I figure they’ll leave me in the dust pretty quick, and I’ll be in the back of the pack with all of the other 40-somethings who are new to this sport. I’ve always thought those participation ribbons they give kids are a little silly, but now I’m hoping they have something like that Saturday. How funny is that?