To run, or not to run: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The blisters and shin splits of outrageous mileage,
Or to take arms against a sea of sore legs and sweaty bodies,
And by opposing end them? To sleep in late, to walk the dogs.
It may seem like a long way off right now, but I just got pinged by Marathon committee that registration has opened up for the 2014 Houston Marathon. Earlier this month they opened early and/or guaranteed registration for “early qualifiers”. People who have:
· Qualifying times: Marathon 4:00:00 Half Marathon 1:52:55 10k 0:51:08 -or-
· 2013 Deferment (you got a deferment from last year) -or-
· Marathon Veteran (10+ times) -or-
· You have run the Marathon 5-9 times -or-
· 3rd Time’s the Charm (in the lottery for 3 consecutive years and never picked)
Seeing how I don’t make any of those qualifying requirements, looks like if I really want to sign up for the 2014 run, I’ll either have to do take my chances in the lottery or sign up for the Run For A Reason program once again. One path, you trust to luck and the lottery gods to get picked. The other path you agree to raise a certain amount of $$$ for your charity. This past year I signed up to collect money for the Epilepsy Foundation.
Now the question you have to ask yourself is: Do I go for number 6? My time is not all that impressive (slower than molasses on a Minneapolis winter morning), I don’t train as much as I should, the knees are complaining more, and I am getting too old and too fat for this crap. There are so many better things I can spend my money and time on. Let the younger crowd take the torch. Give someone else a slot. Oh, sure, sitting here in the middle of spring with the temps hovering in the 80s, it sounds all shiny and exciting now. But, 233 days from now, it will be hard to muster up that same level of enthusiasm come January standing out on the cold, dark streets of Houston with 25,000 other really insane people.
I know better than to ask everyone's opinions. Been down that road before. I ask my friends for advice/encouragement and I get all sorts of uplifting, inspirational, motivational support: You can do it! I know you will conquer the course! 6th time's a charm! Sort of like having your friends encourage you to get another tattoo. I keep looking for that sober friend to slap some sense in me and tell me to grow up. Ultimately, it is up to me. I gotta decide if I am going to go for one more lap on this merry-go-round. The good news is, with 5 under my belt, I pretty much know what to expect. The bad news is that I am woefully out of shape. With all the turmoil of late, I really haven't been running very much. I think I have only done a handful of runs in the last 6 weeks. Maybe that's why I feel so cranky. I could give you all sorts of excuses for why I haven't run, but, in reality, I haven't been serious enough. Like any exercise regime, you have to have the discipline to stick with it - Make it a habit and it will stick. I look at the half as being 6 months away and I can start prepping for it over the summer, but, in reality, I always find some excuse (too hot, too tired, to busy) for not training.
I've been out running at lunch the past few weeks and the lack of running shows. I have signed up for my annual Dad's Day 5k in 2 weeks. It is a charity 5k run downtown for Prostate Cancer awareness. Got dialed into it two years ago. I know - 5k is barely a warm up run, but, it does force me out of my rut and gets me out on the roads. Of course, running 5k on flat pavement in the middle of a warm, muggy June morning is not much of comparison to a 25k run in January, but it is better that sitting on my can.