2012 was quite a year. I went from wondering if I could ever run as far as 10K, to running two of them, and 3 half marathons. (And then another half in January of 2013). We were lucky, we managed to line up our ship contracts in a way that happened to coincide with the races we wanted to run.
This year, things are different. We are heading back out to sea on February 17 (my birthday, no less) and will be working on a ship doing western Caribbean runs, followed by Bermuda runs for 4 months. Then we’ll take a month off, then back out for another four months.
For those of you counting along at home, that happens to be, essentially, race season. I haven’t been able to narrow down a local race during my month at home. If our budget works out, I may be able to justify the trip to Florida for the Space Coast Half Marathon in December.
So, suddenly, all my focus on training and all my forward looking goals to keep me on track have disappeared. I am a rudderless ship. Soon to be ON a ship, surrounded by buffets and dollar beers. The self-same environment that has helped me pile on about 30 pounds over the last few years.
Am I worried?
I love races because the training programs give me a tangible set of day to day goals, as well as an actual, hard deadline that I can’t just wave off like other self-imposed deadlines. If I don’t put the work in, I won’t get to the finish line. And let me tell you, there is something truly empowering about reaching that finish line.
It’s a lesson I’m working on applying to my daily and professional life, but for now, I’m working on perfecting it in my health goals.
I’m worried that if I don’t have that race to work towards (which serves as a deadline, but also as a reward), that I’ll just stop. I don’t want to stop, but a habit is a habit, and my habit of sedentary behaviour is older and more well-worn. The habit of running and health is something I’m still breaking in.
I want to spend some time working on my speed. I would love to get my 10K time down by 10 to 15 minutes. But I also really want to race.
So… Now What?