On Friday, Greg asked if it would be OK if he didn't run Sunday's race. I didn't know if the question really was "we" but I answered by saying, sure, it's fine, but I still want to run it. I need it.
And I did.
I needed a kickstart back into my running routine. For two weeks, with the move and a proofreading job, I didn't run once and I didn't like where that was headed. I was pretty scared about how the race would go. I was sure I'd have to walk most of it, so I went to the website to make sure walkers were allowed. I checked last year's results to see the slowest time. I felt much better knowing that if I had to walk, I could walk.
It was a perfect day for a race. Cloudy, cool breeze.
And it was a perfect little race. At an elementary school (Peabody in D.C.) with lots of kids and families and dogs and not all serious runners with their perfect bodies. In other words, it wasn't an intimidating race.
I started in the back like I always do. And when I crossed the start mat, I told myself, just try to run the first mile.
Turned out, I was able to run 2.5 miles straight without stopping, and my three-mile time (37:14) was the best I've had since last fall. The next three miles were slower but I didn't walk much. There was a huge hill at the end, and I ran some of it. And as we hit the six-mile mark, with 0.2 left to go, I turned to the girl beside me who had stopped to walk and said "Let's finish together." So we ran to the end, and as I looked at my watch and saw that I could get under 1:20 if I just picked it up, I sprinted to the finish. Official time: 1:19:56.
It's not my best 10K, but it's not my worst one, either. And while I was insanely sore the next day (a "weekend warrior" sign that proves I haven't exercised a bit for weeks), the race did exactly what I prayed it would do: It let me know I still have the ability to run, that I haven't completely lost what I've worked for. So now it's time to use that as momentum to get moving on this training.
And that means facing reality weighing in for the first time since April. For one month, I've eaten horribly. Beyond horribly. And I know I have a trip to Pittsburgh in a week-and-a-half that will likely de-rail me again but I can't keep going this way. Nothing at all fits again. I basically took three months worth of hard work and dedication and flushed it away in one month.
Today's weigh in (and I wasn't going to post this but I need to be held accountable): 215.
So. I realize the damage I've done and how it could possibly make this marathon impossible yet again. But I'm not there yet. I'm still focused on trying again and am actually looking forward to the training now. That 10K helped me so very much.