29 December 2011

Once more into the breach, dear friends

16 days and counting.  

It's getting close to the time for my annual pilgrimage to the altar of Atalanta the Greek Goddess of running.  In a mere 16+ days, I get to test my knees and stamina to see if I can survive another 13.1 miles along the streets of Houston.  Yes, dear friends, it is that time again for me to whine and moan about the upcoming Houston Marathon.  This will be my 4th year to try and kill myself on the roadways of downtown Houston.  The Houston Marathon is a bit earlier than last year on January 15th and I can honestly say that this year, I am NOT ready.  I had hoped to get in training/conditioning for the run so I don't die on the trail, but this @#$&@ cold has sapped all my energy and I haven't run for almost 3-4 weeks.  I want to get some miles in but I am afraid my cold will relapse, so I am laying low for the week.  

Even if I am able to turn the corner on my illness, I won't have the stamina to break any records.  I still intend to participate, but I am not looking to best any of my previous times.  It is usually at this time that I question myself why to I do this every year?  I originally set out to do this run to remind myself that I am still alive and kicking.  After cancer surgery almost 4 years ago, I was determined to complete a marathon, or at least a half marathon.  I don't think I still have a marathon in me, but I am fairly confident that I can do the 1/2.     

It is getting harder each year to get a slot in this run.  The Houston Marathon organizers have gone big time and the only way to get a slot is to sign up for a lottery.  If you are a "veteran" marathoner (have completed 10 or more Marathons), you have a guaranteed slot.  The only way to improve your odds in getting selected is to kick in some moola to one of the sanctioned charities (Run For A Reason).  Last year I donated to the ASPCA, the year before was the American Cancer Society, and this year it is the Epilepsy Foundation.  To me, even if I don't get a slot, it is my way to kick in some funds for a charity I believe in.  I signed up for the lottery in the early summer and got picked when I was over in Germany, so I have had this on my calendar since July.   

I did get a new pair of shoes for the run this year (won them as part of a fitness challenge at work) and I was hoping they would help improve my time.  I've worn out a few shoes in my years (nothing like the number Abby has gone through), but I have always been an ASICS fan.  I got a new pair last May that I have been saving for this run.  Last year I broke in a new pair of ASICS but those have a few miles on them now and I want to try out the new pair for this year.        

Running in the red this year
Each year, I say it will be my last, but somehow, in the post race euphoria, I talk myself into another round.  Somebody stop me.  


Rock Chef said...

Make yourself a 3 milk cake - might help restore the energy levels!

We will be cheering you on!

"Abby" said...

You've got 16 days to get to 13.1 miles. You can do this thing!

And WHAT? You WON a pair of running shoes? I don't remember this momentous occassion making the blog.

terri said...

Okay, you make me feel like such a wimp for giving up running. Maybe I SHOULD pick it up again. I know a dog that would be thrilled if I would keep up with HER pace when we're out walking.