Following the Half Marathon on Saturday, I have had a lot to the think about. I am pleased with my race overall, and there isn't much that I would do differently, other than an equipment check. I am really proud that I followed my training plan and got myself to both the starting line and the finish line on my own. It was really important to me that I did not enlist any direct assistance from anyone (other that the much appreciated moral support that many of you supplied). Running in the Half Marathon was something that I wanted to do pretty much on my own, which is why I stop attending group runs and workout classes while I was training. Good, bad, or ugly, it was going to be on me. And I think that it all turned out for the good.
However, notice that I said that I was pleased with my race. I am not ecstatic or thrilled but pleased. Since Saturday, I have had to face up to a few things that I have wanted to avoid for sometime now. My weight is the great struggle of my life. And, even though I ran an entire Half Marathon at 280+ pounds, I wish that I hadn't. My time was good, but the punishment that I put my body through was really unnecessary when you think that it could have been reduced had I only lost weight before the race. The fact that I didn't rests entirely at my feet. I have made great strides in my exercise and improved the way I eat over the last few years, but I can and must do more. Diets are not my thing, and I don't think that they work. Lifestyle changes are much better than diets in my book, and I have been reluctant to committing myself to the type of lifestyle choices that I know are needed. However, after the half Marathon, I have come to a crossroads: either commit myself to running and make the tough health choices need to support my running or go on the way I am, give up running and take up a sport that has less risk of injury. These options may seem extreme, but let's face some cold hard facts, running at 6'1" 280 pounds at the end of your 30's is a major injury just waiting to happen. Besides this is an easy choice when it comes down to it -- running makes me happy. Weighing as much as I do -- doesn't. I need to commit myself to eating right and losing weight.
I have no doubt that I could run the Marathon in Miami, and finish it, but the risk of injury is off the chart. As it stands now, there is about 14 weeks to go before the marathon, and I will lose one week of training due to a wedding that I will be attending in LA come November (Irene, I am heading your way). I don't like the odds, so I have decided to drop down to the Half Marathon in Miami. I plan to dedicate myself to both training for the half and losing a substantial amount of weight before I reach the starting line. These decisions are honestly way over due. I know that exercise alone is not going to get me to where I want to be, so it is just time to commit myself to the healthy eating habits that are required. I haven't given up on the idea of running a full marathon. In fact, I am more committed to it than ever, but when I do run it. I want to run the hell out of it, but if I ran it now, it would only be about sheer survival. I want to thrive, not just survive!