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I Am NOT a Sandbagger

It has come to my attention that some of you – I’m not naming names (because I’d have to list everyone in ERC) – believe I have a tendency to make excuses PRIOR to a race, only to EXCEED those expectations once the race is run. Let me just say – now and for the record – I have NEVER complained of an ailment I did not in fact perceive to be true, or about which I was not genuinely concerned, prior to the gun.

To me, a sandbagger is someone who INTENTIONALLY makes FALSE claims of problems he DOES NOT HAVE in order TO DECEIVE his/her opponents. While many of my perceived problems have not manifested themselves in slower race times, I never relayed a worry to diminish expectations, i.e., sandbagged. Accordingly, I wish to clear my name and set the record straight once and for all.

First, let me just say this essay may not be one of my funnier ones because I’ve been fighting a bit of a cold. My head’s kind of stuffy, especially on the left side which controls creativity. Normally, when my head is clear, my synapses are firing rapidly and the jokes come fast and furious. Sadly, I don’t see that happening tonight. I’ve got tissues stuffed up my sleeve and – given how bad I feel – I’ll be lucky to get through the next paragraph.

Second, my carpel tunnel is acting up. Not saying funny things can’t come off my fingertips, but it’s all kind of connected. For example, if I want to write something wickedly biting, but it involves numbers and I have to reach way up high on the keyboard, I get a shooting pain that takes me out of the moment. Normally, I can whip off a whole comedic essay in about 3-4 minutes, but with my hands like this, it could take me weeks or even months… if I’m lucky.

Furthermore, and this is no excuse, mind you – cause I know you guys hate when I make excuses, but I have been under a lot of pressure at work lately. Everyone is, I realize, but when I’m worried about where my next mortgage payment is coming from and putting food on my kid’s table, being witty pales in comparison. I’m not saying I have to declare bankruptcy tomorrow or that I’m incapable of writing a totally hilarious, bust-a-gut essay right now, but odds are this will not be my column’s day in the sun. I’ll just hang back, write a mildly amusing piece and let someone else take the glory this time. No biggie.

And don’t get me started on how tired I am. Usually, with a good night’s sleep and a double espresso, I’m primed to crank out yet another totally sidesplitting commentary about life as a runner purely for your amusement. But when I’m this wiped out, barely able to keep my eyes open, comedic insights are few and far between. I’m lucky to be this far into the essay without having nodded off. Surprised I’m not zzzzzzzzzzzzz. See, I’m not making this stuff up.

And while it’s neither here nor there, my stomach has been gurgling like crazy this evening. I’m not lactose intolerant, but I’m not lactose compatible either, if you catch my drift? I don’t need Lactaid pills, per se, but Haagen Dazs and gas are like pain and a marathon for me – can’t have one without the other. Sure, that’s a less than flattering admission, but I’ve always been about over-sharing if not actual honesty.

Still, despite the fatigue, work anxiety, strange growth I found on my neck this morning, un-ergonomic keyboard, seasonal depression and sinusitis – despite all that, I am prepared to give this essay my best today and let the chips fall where they may. Underestimate me at your own risk. Who knows? I might just surprise you.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, I Am NOT a sandbagger.

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