At least I’m looking

Well… here we go.  I’m going to go in tomorrow (or Monday, depending on the weather) and sign up for my first race in over a year.  It is just a 5K that is held on New Year’s Eve afternoon.  It is called Eve Fest (used to be First Night) and it is the kick off to the downtown festival here in CoMo.

With all the mind games I played with myself over the last year, you wouldn’t believe how hard this has been for me to do.  I have needed more courage to sign up for this race than I did for my first marathon or half Ironman.

Why?

Tons of reasons.

First, I haven’t done anything but a casual jog in over a year.  October of 2012, to be exact.  I am so far out of shape I can’t even SEE “in shape” from here…

I have those ghosts of races past.  At one time I was shooting for a sub 21 minute 5K and was REALLY close.  Less than 20 seconds.  Now I will be lucky to break 27…  I’m really ashamed of that.  Whether I can blame some of it on injury or not is irrelevant.  Nobody shoved food in my mouth or soaked me in beer.  I did this to myself and race times are hard to argue with.  This race is going to shine a light on me I really don’t want to see.

I’m not worried about failing.  Hell, I walked 7 miles of a half Ironman with leg cramps so bad they made YouTube.  I’m running 5-7 miles now comfortably.  It’s not the race… it’s what it represents.  It represents starting over.  Ground zero.  Hitting bottom and looking up.  I never wanted to be here.

I guess it was so hard to decide to sign up because it felt like a failure.

And yeah, I know, what about all those people who can’t do this… blah, blah…  This isn’t about them.  It’s about me fighting through the demons and the frustrations and fears of the last year.  It’s about the memories of running a race like this and then going out and running another 10 miles afterwards.  It’s about remembering having to run 3 miles BEFORE a race like this just so I would be warmed up because I was such a mileage junky.  It’s about 50 mile rides with 10K runs at the end of them.  It’s about swimming 3 miles without stopping.

This doesn’t feel like a win.  It feels like a Band-Aid.

Yeah, I know… Bullshit, Bob.  Suck it up.  Any race is a good race.  …whatever.

Now.  That’s just how I feel.  I’m disappointed in myself.  And YOU have to put up with me.

However…

I also know that there has to be a first step.  And the reality of my physical condition is such that big races or long races or hard races are just not an option for the foreseeable future.  My goal is that I will increase the mileage of my longest race for each 10 lb I lose.  Right now 5K is my max distance.  And if you do the math along with logical distances (5K/sprint tri, 10K/olympic tri, half marathon, marathon/half ironman)…  you get my drift…?  I have a LOT of weight to lose before I can talk about a big race.  So… this is where it has to begin.

And even as intimidating as it is, it feels pretty good to be thinking about racing again.  Somewhere about August I just gave up.  I’ve never done that with anything before.  It was scary.  Even though I’m looking up at a big hill to get in shape again… at least I’m looking up.

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