Friday, August 19, 2011

On Not Running Half-Marathons

A few weeks ago a group of us were having dinner together after a long, hard, windy day of Laser racing. Of course, the conversation turned to all of our aches and pains caused by aforementioned long day of windy Laser racing. And, being a competitive bunch (as most Laser sailors are) each of us was vying to convince his buddies that his own aches and pains were much worse than theirs.

You would think that out of respect for my age, my lack of hair, my obvious unfitness, and my dismal race performance that day, that my friends would concede the title of Sailor with Worst Aches and Pains to me. But not a bit of it. Some dude who would have won a certain national championship the previous weekend (if he hadn't been too macho to even bother to sail on the one light air day) was playing the "my aches are worse than yours" game as hard as he had raced his Laser all day.

And then someone else dropped the bombshell. In an effort to eliminate me from the competition he said, "You can't complain. I know you're fit. I read your blog. You run half-marathons!"

I spluttered in my beer. Why do people do that? I write about 300 posts a year about what a crap sailor I am and how unfit I am and about how clumsy I am, and maybe mention half-marathons a couple of times. Why do people label me as "superfit half-marathon runner" instead of "fat unfit old geezer Laser sailor"? I have no idea.

So I corrected him. I have run a grand total of three half-marathons in my entire life. One was in 2007 (I think - my memory is almost as bad as my fitness these days) and two were in 2010. That's it. Does that mean I am any fitter for Laser sailing in the summer of 2011? I think not.

It is true that I am sorta kinda in training to run some half marathons in the fall. But it's tough to do a lot of Laser sailing and fit in all that boring running as well, and in the last couple of months my running has taken second priority to my sailing. I did do a (very slow) 13 mile training run a few weeks ago, it is true. But when I tried to extend that with a 15 mile run yesterday, I found I could only manage 8 miles.

It might have been the heat. It might have been that I hadn't done a lot of running in the intervening weeks. It might have been that I drank too much wine the night before (and a large margarita I seem to recall.) It might be that I'm getting old. It almost certainly means I'm not going to run a half-marathon race in a couple of weeks time as I had originally hoped.

I am not a half-marathon runner. I dream of running half-marathons. It's not the same thing.

Like I am not a fast Laser sailor. Except in my dreams.

But I do ache a lot after a long, hard day of windy Laser racing. And I yield to nobody in believing that my aches and pains are worse than yours. Have some respect for age!


Baydog said...

I was never a natural distance runner. And it's been soooo long since I've been required to run (pointy). Weird that I still have dreams about running, long distances too, and having the stamina to do so.
And occasionally naked, in other settings as well. What's up with that? And nobody ever seems to think it's odd that I'm unclothed. Doctor, what does it all mean? I also fly in some dreams, and hover at great heights for long stretches of time.

Bursledon Blogger said...

In my youth I was a keen cyclist, until I found out that I could cycle a lot faster with a 500CC engine.

Anyone know how to fit an outboard to a Laser?

Tillerman said...

Been there done that (at least in O Docker's dreams.)

Pat said...

"If the shoe fits...
...try running in it for 13.1 miles."

What you want for the Laser is a very quiet jet water drive. But it still won't prevent wipeouts at gybe marks on windy days.

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