Early bird

July 31 is a long way off. But I preregistered for the WINforKC triathlon this week anyway.

Then, because it was such a mental rush, I prereg'd for the Rock the Parkway half marathon (March) and the BikeSource triathlon (May). Then started wondering where that mental rush comes from.

Why would it make me feel happy to sign up for a race months in advance?

I remember my WINforKC prereg last year. It was a bold and unforeseen gesture. I was setting out to change the impossible into the possible. Preregistration was me saying I could do the work. It was a commitment to become something new.

I don't need that so much now. There are two big events on the calendar that I couldn't finish today. But if I stay as active as I am now (and remember, it's winter now! Cannot wait for the first bike commute to work!), I'm on pace. Not just to finish, but to have a slamming good time.

And prereg has a dark side. First, anything can happen to prevent participation, in which case delicious anticipation breeds heightened disappointment. (And lost registration fees.)

Second, prereg is like putting a little lasso around that date in the future and pulling it toward me. It makes the future seem closer. That's not a good thing. I like time to stretch, not cramp.

Third, whenever you attach importance to something, it develops a gravitational field. Your other priorities rotate toward it. This is useful when you want to accomplish something big or new. But you do lose some ability to shift perspectives.

Even knowing all this, I'll likely keep pre-reg'ing for the events that require my most positive attitude and diligent application of active force. Because it shifts me in my mind from "I'm going to do" or "I'm planning to do" to "I'm doing this thing." And that's an exciting place to be.

If obstacles pop up after I've locked my tractor beam onto something, I'm much more likely to pick an equal or greater challenge to conquer as opposed to (as I have lived a lot of my life doing) saying "oh well" and settling into my armchair for the day. That's what happened last year in the first place... medical stuff had me knocked out of a long-anticipated 5K, which I had been working "just to finish." So I decided to do triathlon instead.

If something stops me from running my pre-reg'd half marathon, whaddya suppose I'll have to do then?