I’m not going to sugar coat it for you: At least 70 percent of being a runner is talking yourself into doing things you don’t want to do.
- I don’t want to run 4 miles before work, but I’m going to make myself.
- I don’t want to cut happy hour short, but I’m going to make myself.
- I don’t want to coat my entire body in Vaseline pre-marathon, but I’m going to make myself.
With so many hours spent every single week talking myself into fitness, today felt like a major divergence. Why, you ask? Because today, registration opened for the illustrious Brooklyn Half Marathon. And instead of trying to talk myself into running it, I spent all 52 minutes before the race sold out trying to talk myself out of it.
You might be asking: Why would I want to talk myself out of joining this iconic New York City road race, which is both the largest half marathon in the country and the site of my last (gulp: last ever?) PR? The Brooklyn Half has so many things going for it: the course is fairly flat and ends on a multi-mile downhill, the t-shirts are always top notch swag, and, given the race’s Coney Island finish, you can chase down your victory with a classic Nathan’s hot dog.
Plus, I’m already training for the New York City half in March, so it’s not like I’d be starting from square one fitness-wise. I could just maintain for two months between the NYC Half and the Brooklyn Half, I thought as I opened the registration window. Half marathon training for five months straight never killed anyone, I thought as I fingered the edge of my credit card. I don’t have much else to do this spring, I thought as I rounded the corner to check out.
And then I remembered: I actually DO have a lot to do this spring. Not only am I working long days and trying to get to strength training classes at least twice a week, but I’m also cooking 80 percent of my meals at home, trying to read more books, targeting more hours of sleep, and, oh yeah, planning a freaking wedding for 180 of my closest friends (read: giant Irish family) this fall. Half marathon training is a lot of things, but one thing it isn’t is easy to fold into an already crammed schedule.
Which is why, against all odds, I successfully talked myself out of registering today. And when I signed back on to check the site tonight, this is what I found:
Maybe I’ll come to regret the decision on May 21 — or maybe I’ll be laying on a sandy beach that day eternally grateful not to be queuing up for a porta potty before the 7 a.m. starting gun. As a runner and — well, a human — it’s important to know my limits, and I think joining this road race would have pushed me to the end of mine.
And if a few weeks roll around and I really begin to regret my decision not to do a second half marathon this spring, there’s always the MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon in Central Park in April, which still has a wide open roster ready for registrants. I’ve run that one at least two times, and I could be persuaded to do it again, but only if my running buddy were to join me for a third year in a row.
What do you say, mama bear? I’m only partially kidding.