It came to me in a moment of clarity yesterday that there was no freakin' way I'd be ready to run a full marathon this spring. I was supposed to run nine miles today, on the treadmill. I nearly cried at the prospect.
This is supposed to be fun. In order to make it fun again, I've made an executive decision to stick with the half. Today's long run is six manageable miles.
I may be ready for a full next spring, depending on the amount of weight I lose this year. [How's that for positive thinking?] And I'm setting a definite goal of running a full on or near my 60th birthday, which isn't until 2011. That gives me plenty of time to not only condition myself, but maybe, perhaps, hopefully, even look like a runner.
One of the things I'm acutely aware of when I – heh – "race" is that I don't look like most of the women out there. I'm soft and pudgy and short. I'm always checking to see if there's anyone bigger than I am on the course. I know that's horrible, but there it is – my dirty little running secret.
They, on the other hand, those real runners are strong, lean and tall, with defined muscles and nice tans. And cool clothes.
There I go again, comparing myself to people I don't even know, most of whom I will never see again.
My training last winter was fun, and all I wanted each week was to do better than I'd done the previous week. My body amazed me. I remember the first time I ran seven miles. SEVEN!!! I also remember collapsing for the remainder of that day, but still. I ran seven miles; I'd never done that before.
This time I've done that and more. I could get that thrill by running 14 or 18 or 20 miles, I know I could. But I wouldn't be able to walk the next day. The extra weight I'm dragging around is hard on my joints and especially hard on the soles of my feet.
And it's hard on my spirit, too. I've done really well this week with those little things. It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be to stop eating before 6:30 p.m., to drink two liters of water each day or to log every morsel. The scale has given me a tiny gift; I'm hoping I still have it on Tuesday, which will be the three-week point in this year's effort. Only then will I feel like I can report any progress.
Mr. Shrinking Knitter made it home just fine, about 8 o'clock last night. He isn't anxious to go back, which is unusual because he considers Vegas the ultimate vacation destination, and he's always ready to go to Vegas. Maybe this is a course correction for him, as well.