Then comes the commitment.
It's been over 3 and 1/2 years since I've truly been a consistent runner. I ran the St. George Marathon in 2013 and shortly after that began to grow more sporadic in my motivation. The thing that kept me moving at that time was, of course, that I had qualified for Boston. And then my body decided to up the degree of difficulty by falling apart. I was fairly good at running for a couple months last year, and then slowly disintegrated in the months that followed. There have been any number of issues, but the big one has been that I haven't had anything in particular for which to train.
There is a great episode of The West Wing in which the President mentions the analogy of some young Irish lads on a journey who come across a brick wall seemingly too high to climb. Throwing their caps over the wall, the lads have no choice but to follow.
Within the next couple weeks, I hope to throw my cap over the wall. I'll register for a race and have no choice but to train.
In the meantime, I'm trying to make other life adjustments.
First, I'm eating better and more consistently. I'm attempting (which is something wholly unheard-of for me) to avoid fast food this year. I've stocked my office with several healthy snacks to avoid temptation, and I've built a schedule of drinking water and eating small portions to stave hunger while keeping me fueled. Add in some light workouts during the day, and I've got a fairly healthy routine sketched out.
Next, when I run, I'm letting my body dictate the pace, not my watch. In fact, my watch doesn't even work anymore. Instead, I turn on my Map My Run app and go, letting all the breaks and slow downs be a part of the time, even if I'm forced to stop by traffic or what have you. I will hopefully learn how a certain pace feels and not force myself to stick with a time on a watch. Start slow, finish strong. I would love for this to be my first negative-split marathon.
Finally, I will stick with a slow building of miles and not force myself, at least this time around, to shoot for any particular goal in terms of finishing time. It's when I rush into training that I burn out, and I can't have that again. Especially if I spend the money on the race entry. No, it's time to take myself a little less seriously and a little more cautiously. It's a combination that can only lead to success, as long as I'm smart about it.
I'm looking forward to chasing my cap.