From the time I returned from Jacksonville until today, I’ve continued to lack focus with regard to my training. Positive momentum: I know I’ve harped on this in prior blog entries, but I cannot stress enough just how important it is as well as how difficult it is to develop and maintain over longer periods of time. Every day it’s the same thing: I throw on my running clothes, double-knot my laces, grab my Iphone, blast some Eminem (hey – don’t judge me…at least I didn’t say Peter F*&king Frampton), and waddle through a few miles before calling it a morning or an evening. Every day I try to run my 4..5..6 miles at a pace that I hope to – at some point in the future – maintain for the entire 26.2. And at the end of each week, I feel as though no progress has been made with regard to my level of preparedness for the next event on my calendar: The Ocean Drive Marathon in Cape May, New Jersey on March 25th. It’s 10 days away…and I’m starting to get concerned.
Now I think I know what you might be saying to yourself at this moment: Joe, you’ve run a few marathons…how the heck did you let things get to this point? So I took some time to reflect on this, joined by the greatest pirate that ever haunted the Seven Seas: no, not Jack Sparrow…Captain Morgan, and his trusty first mate, Coke. The salty sea scoundrel has a way of fouling up my rigging and exposing my stern to…well…his rather large, weather-beaten boot. The end result is some internal honesty. And Lord I cannot stand that. One good thing that comes out of these very infrequent (insert a chuckle here) discussions with the good captain is that he tosses The Tool in the brig for a while, thereby allowing me to evaluate my weaknesses without that tiny schmucks color commentary. The end result of this meeting of the piratical minds was the following:
1) I actually don’t have a gameplan to improve my running technique, stamina, or pace for this “12 in ‘12” project. My goal has been to simply survive each one. That is not good enough. I need to sit down and draw up a full year’s training plan. And then…well..stick to it! In prior blog entries, I know I’ve mentioned that it’s important to develop a gameplan and then stick to it. This is an example of “do as I say – not as I do”.
2) Since I have no established gameplan for training this year – I’ve just been “winging it” – I go out every day and run the same way…at the same pace….on the same paths. I need to shake things up. Again – this is not some incredible new theory: I knew this already. However…once again…another example of “do as I say and not as I do”. Oy.
3) I’m still not eating right. Too many bad calories. Not enough water. Chocolate is a food group. Veggies are the enemy. Once more the good captain pointed out to me that “’tis not good, laddie, to be eatin’ all those M&Ms while there be a bunch of apples docked at your kitchen counter”. Again: I know I’m eating wrong. I’ve just not been disciplined enough to actually do something about it.
4) I feel weak. I am used to offsetting my roadwork with some quality gym time. I miss releasing my inner Rocky Balboa as I bounce around the free weights, listening to onlookers mutter “I have no idea who’s the bigger dumbbell – that lead weight or the idiot shaking it around like a maraca”. I need to hit the gym. Forgetaboutit.
I said good night to the captain, and drifted off to sleep.
At about 2:30am, I woke up startled. It dawned on me: The Tool has crossed over from just renting a spot on my left shoulder each marathon Sunday to taking out a one year lease on that piece of personal property in order to distract and annoy me on a daily basis. That tiny bastard.
It appears that I’ve now been locked into a ten-month battle. Well that’s fine by me: I’m up for a prolonged skirmish with that annoying imp. Starting tomorrow, (March 16th 2012) I’m cutting out the Diet Coke. No more chocolate until after I cross the finish line at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon. I’m going to eat healthier, draw up a solid training program and then break my rather sizable rump roast for the remainder of the year. Time to get down to business.