In most situations, talk is a good thing. Peace talks are the first step toward armistice in the Middle East. A pep talk is generally the best way to talk some sense into someone. Pillow talk is one of my favorite things to do in bed besides sleep and eat crackers. What can I say? I guess I’m just a romantic.
But while talking is generally a positive pastime, there are of course a handful of situations where that’s simply not the case. Sitting next to a chatty stranger at the movies? Not so fun. Getting asked about your summer plans mid-teeth-cleaning? A gritty mess. Building the tower of babel? I rest my case.
There’s at least one more place where talk isn’t a good thing: in describing my fitness and nutrition routine so far this year. Or, let me put it another way: despite all my good intentions, when it comes down to it, my getting in shape this new year has been nothing but talk.
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly entered the new year intending to run more and eat cleaner and sleep better/in fewer cracker crumbs, and to some degree, I’ve been successful. I’ve been to yoga twice since the Times Square ball dropped. I’ve brought my lunch to work at least a dozen times. I even donned my sweet new Maryland socks with short shorts and not an ounce of embarrassment in my first road race of the new year.
But if I know anything about myself other than the fact that I’ve never correctly squeezed a tube of toothpaste in my life, it’s that I will never REALLY push myself unless there’s a tangible goal in the not-so-distant future. Which is why I’ve gone and done the unthinkable in an effort to trick myself into putting my money where my mouth is: I’ve signed up for a March half marathon.
But you ran a full marathon in November. You might be thinking. How could a half be unthinkable? Also, how does one do toothpaste wrong? It’s unthinkable, folks, because I haven’t run more than 15 miles a week since early November. And because I’ve recently discovered Freaks and Geeks on Netflix and would rather ogle teenage Jason Segel than lace up my Asics. And because the specific race I chose is hands-down the hilliest course on this side of the Hudson River: the Sleepy Hollow Half.
Oh, you wanted the second question answered, too? Because I squeeze the tube with my fist like a monkey with a banana. Don’t judge me.
I’ve never before run the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon, but I did complete a 10K race on part of the same course in October 2012, and it was a downright monster of a stair climb. Sure, I got to wear a Halloween costume, but I also missed my 10K PR by more than three minutes that day – and I was in the best shape of my life at the time. I can only imagine what shape I’ll be in when (if?) I cross the finish line on March 22.
Then again, I’ll be in far worse shape if I don’t even try. So let’s do this thing.
Who’s with me?