I've done it. I've relegated myself to the half at the Run Like Crazy Half Marathon.
It wasn't an easy decision. I'm not the kind of person or athlete that takes the easy way out. But, given I'm also not the kind of person or athlete that can just punch out a marathon, I know it's the right thing to do. It's simple. I haven't done the training I need.
Had I fronted up for the marathon, it would have been a half arsed effort at best. But copping out into the half marathon feels half arsed too.
My disappointment around not running is complex.
I was never going to do another marathon after I finished the Gold Coast Marathon in 2009. If I'm really honest about it, I only ever did the marathon it to tick it off my list. Random people at work who don't get triathlon always ask me how my 'marathons' are going. After completing the 42k distance a few times in Ironman, I thought it was about time I made it official.
But then, along came T-Bone, who had to go and Run Like Crazy, all around the world... When he put out the call late last year for 100 people to run his last marathon of 2010 in his home town in Melbourne, it was irresistible to me. Before I knew it I was Emailing Like Crazy to volunteer the Athletic Powerhouse's services.
All year I've been inspired not only by T-Bone's running, but also his ability to turn strangers into friends, his compassion for others, and his ability to convey the myriad of experiences he's had so honestly and openly through words. He's remarkable. I'm looking forward to meeting him and I'm desperately hoping he won't think I've copped out.
It seems I paid all this inspiration forward, because before too long, Speedy Reidy put her hand up to run her first marathon with us as well. I feel like I'm letting her down, but I guess that's not true. In some way I've helped her to get to the start line. She has trained hard, and prepared herself mentally. She doesn't need me, she has everything she needs to finish successfully within herself.
And that's the difference. If I lined up on the start line with Speedy Reidy next Monday, I'd feel like a phony. I haven't done the training. I don't deserve to be there. Sure, I could finish. I'd walk a lot, and I probably wouldn't make cut off, but I'd get there. But it wouldn't be doing the marathon, nor Speedy Reidy, justice. They both deserve more respect than that.
... my, how things have changed...! The Athletic Powerhouse is a "finisher" from way back! I've never been one of those athletes that pulls out of races because things didn't go to plan. I've always stuck it out, and I've (nearly) always finished. In many ways, that's been my defining quality - in the absence of any credible athletic ability, I've always opted to tough it out mentally and finish.
Maybe it was training for a time this year for Ironman Regensburg that changed me. Maybe it was my new coach, Andy from Phoenix Adventure.
Maybe I just want to do things less half arsed.
Next Monday when I line up for the Run Like Crazy Half Marathon, I'll have an expectation. I'll want to run all the way, at no less than 7.30 min/ks. If my cold clears up a little over the weekend, I think this is an achievable, though modest, goal.
If I had have lined up for the Marathon, my expectation would be to keep going until I finished. It wouldn't have been pretty.
So maybe, just maybe, the Half isn't so half arsed after all.