I’m officially announcing my registration to run the Twin Cities Marathon this October. I’ve been intending to run another marathon for several years but have been too afraid of failure to register. But the time has come for me to admit to myself that I’m not nearly as fast as I used to be – that this will not be a personal best time for me – and that it’s ok to admit I’m out of shape again. I’m going to run it anyway.
You see, I discovered the joys of running during the summer of 2003 and quickly discovered that I was actually a pretty decent runner. I ran my first timed event on 21 April 2004 – the Salt Lake City Marathon with a chip time of 3:03:43. For several reasons, the competition was pretty sparse at this marathon, so my time was good enough to earn me 3rd place in my age division.
It felt great! I was actually pretty shocked at my time. I had never timed myself until less than a week before the Marathon, so I was tossing around an ill-informed goal time of 3:30:00. While I was standing at the starting line, I saw the pace runner holding the 3:30:00 sign and I made a commitment to myself to keep up with him. So when I finished a whole 27 minues ahead of him, I was ecstatic!
Four years later, however, my zeal for running has waned, my sweettooth and love of greasy burgers has returned, and I’m finding myself a full 25 lbs. heavier than I was on race day in 2004. And it feels lousy. Really lousy. Most of my wardrobe is now unwearable because I don’t fit in it anymore, and what were formerly my “fat pants” are now my “skinny pants.” Everything else makes me look and feel like the attack of the muffin-top. I’ve wanted to register for marathons in both 2006 and 2007, but I’ve known that I wouldn’t beat my original time. And somehow, not living up to my original time made me feel like a failure – enough so that I didn’t even want to try. I kept thinking that if I could just train a little harder, I’d get back in shape, THEN register and beat my time. Then I’d never have to admit to myself that I was out of shape again.
But it’s time for me to admit to myself (and the world, apparently) that I’m no longer in shape. I’m no longer capable of a 3:03 marathon, and it’s not even appropriate to use the title “runner” to describe myself since I do so little running anymore. But I’m going to run it anyway.
I’m recommitting myself to jogging 6 days a week beetween now and race day (other than the 2 weeks I’ll be cycling in Europe). I’ll give myself a training crash course, go on a diet, and I’m setting yet another ill-informed goal time of 3:30:00. Wish me luck, faithful readers, I’ll need it.