I have good reasons for being underprepared for today’s half-marathon. But Steve Zegree, my mentor and inspiration for this race, made a mantra of “No Excuses” – so I’m not going to even mention them.


So what do you do when you’re underprepared for a challenge? Say, a concert, or a contest, or an audition?

1. You do the best you can. You don’t apologize for your performance, you own it. You show up an do it. You don’t explain to the audience why you’re not prepared, even if it’s crystal clear and out of your control. No excuses.

2. You take a good long look at your preparation: time frame, and strategies. And you use what you learn to prevent this from happening again.

I fully intend to run another long race in the future, and will learn from today and from the last five months to inform my preparation.

It’s harder with an ensemble – they keep graduating, so you become the sole institutional memory. It’s my job to share the lessons of past years so that we can avoid past traps.