Keep Calm And Volunteer

If you’re in the Northeast United States, or at least the Mid-Atlantic, then like me you’ve spent much of the past week hiding from the cold and snow.  Here in Washington DC, we reacted to #Snowzilla with our customary coolness under fire (just picture a ballroom of cats given enough catnip to power several zip codes’ worth of Christmas lights, and then setting a herd of Roombas upon them.  Did I mention the ballroom was on the Titanic?).

This probably has resulted in you being cooped up, or stuck on your treadmill.  Runners get a little crazy when they can’t Do That Thing They Do (that song is in your head now, you’re welcome).  All of this snow, slush, and ice might have you feeling a little behind when it comes to training, especially if you’re new to running, or if the 10-mile distance is a new frontier.  I suggest remembering this mantra:

volunteer

You might well wonder what the heck volunteering has to do with training. You’re a long distance runner.  You gotta think Long Term.

First, let’s not forget the start of this meme:  “Keep calm.”  You have SO much time to train for this, whether you’re new, or focused on a PR.  You can’t chase down miles lost to #Snowzilla, and why try?  Those miles are cold, snowy, and often result in wearing tights, which for SOME of us, is a natural disaster itself (by some I mean me).  You’re more than two months away from race day.  You’ll get the training in, and January will be a distant memory when you’re running amongst the blossoms.

Next, let’s remember that you can cut down on stress a second way – by volunteering for THIS year.  Doing so will guarantee you an entry into next year’s race, so you won’t have any of the lottery stress that others do.  Also, if you sign up NOW (by following the volunteer sign up linky here), you will have an excellent opportunity to get a choice spot on Friday or Saturday at the Expo.  Signing up early is a great decision, because many volunteer slots still remain open. If you choose Friday, it shouldn’t affect your race at all.  If you choose Saturday, just remember — people think nothing of doing shakeout runs the day before a race, so a little bit of time on your feet shouldn’t hurt either.  Plus, the Expo is near Chinatown, so carboloading FTW!

There are also some sneaky reasons for volunteering this year as well.  If you volunteer, you can potentially get INTO the Expo early (beat the lines!), depending on your volunteer slot.  Even if you volunteer after you’ve gotten your packet, you’ll have plenty of extra time to shop the Expo, or attend a talk by one of the many big name speakers who come to CUCB every year (don’t worry, I’m not one of them).  

Finally, and most importantly, volunteering will give you a great opportunity to see how much work goes into putting this race on each year, and how much of that work is done for a way larger purpose than us just running in pretty scenery for 10 miles.  Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are the beneficiary of this race.  Taking the time to help produce something that helps so many will really put your training time into perspective.  (Why not take a minute now to make a donation?) I once read, “From Perspective, Comes Calm.”  Nothing could be more true when it comes to volunteering at CUCB.  Help yourself while helping others.

P.S.  Ok, fine, I read that phrase on a fortune cookie, but it was a still a GOOD point.  That General Tso knew his stuff, even if he was a chicken.

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