Part of me feels lame for completely giving up on Loonies. But I shouldn't have signed up for it in the first place. I know there are people who can channel the stress in their lives and make sure they don't let their regular workout schedule get disrupted, but I am a backslider. No two ways about it. I have some excuses--all First World problems, I grant you--but I'll take a wasted entry fee as a lesson in big-picture perspective.
The big picture at the current time is this:
I am 52 years old.
I am between 25-30 pounds overweight.
I have not done any serious running since a half-marathon in April.
I have ridden my bike maybe twice this calendar year.
I have swum not at all.
I have not pursued the other sports in which I dabble (tennis) or aspire to dabble (racquetball, rowing).
I am sending my oldest child to college in a few weeks.
I'm in grad school.
Neither my son's nor my college is free.
My family is moving. And throwing stuff out. And shredding stuff. And giving stuff away. And paying repair people to fix things in the new house and the one we're about to sell.
So running a marathon in July--even one in the dark--is out of the question. And I am almost certain that I will take the refund on an August triathlon I've already signed up for. But a January marathon is just the ticket.
Graduations are over, Memorial Day is behind us. Time to start serious training. I am running a marathon in just over seven weeks.
The past few weeks have seen several graduation celebrations, almost all of which involve indulgent food which I have chosen not to resist. I need to be in a summer routine that involves a schedule and consistently healthy eating.
It was a lost winter of training. More accurately, a lost winter of almost non-training. A veritable planetary alignment of polar vortex, grad school, trying to keep a senior in high school on task. I know there are people who can juggle these things competently, and those people are clearly more efficient with their investments of time and energy than I am.
Results so far have been a rather desultory half-marathon (2:59:32) and a 10K that I felt pretty good about (1:05:11) until I saw that I was last in my age group, almost nine and a half minutes behind the next guy in the age group. I'm not normally one who dwells on comparisons to others, but this does not bode well for a July marathon. If the McMillan pace calculator is to be believed, my 10K pace would predict a 5:06 marathon (which would be a PR!), and my half-marathon time would put me at 6:18 (ugh). I am taking some consolation in the fact that the 10K was run a month after the half-marathon, and therefore I am on the upswing time-wise.
The big question, as it always is, is what the hell am I going to do about my weight? As recently as mid-December 2013, I was at 186. Right now, I'm about a Happy Meal away from 200. I mean, I'm not one for dramatic short-term weight loss, but I ran my last marathon at 190, and even that's too heavy. It would be my strong preference to run it somewhere in the 180-185 range. I know, I know: small changes made consistently will result in safe weight loss. So tough in the summer, though.