Hello, WBB. You deserve an explanation. I've only got it in me to post a short one. Here goes.
I haven't sincerely trained since the end of September. A few half-hearted sessions in the gym. I also have not been vigilant about my diet. At all.
I'm feeling guilty and fed up. And I want to change.
I've completed two 5K races in the last 16 days. The first, on 10/17, was the Huntsville 5K/Half-Marathon sponsored by Hillcrest Ford and the Seven Hills Running Club. With such sponsor names, you would assume I'd be prepared for how hilly the course was. You'd be wrong. By Mile 0.30, I was sucking wind and hitting the rescue inhaler. The cold air was kicking up my asthma and the bronchial tubes in both lungs went on lockdown almost immediately. Thankfully, I was able to get regular breathing again. I finished the course in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and some seconds. Dead last, but successfully across the finish line without a coronary. (The fastest posted time that morning? 18 minutes flat. Crazy.)
The second 5K was this past Saturday, the Monster Mash 5K at the horse/dog racetrack a few miles away. The course wrapped through the parking lot, then through the side of the facility and an underground tunnel onto the field itself. The final mile was spent mostly on a gravel/dirt/mud walking track inside the oval, and then back through the tunnel and across the front of the grandstand and around the corner to the Winner's Circle. I clocked in at 1 hour 1 minute, and some seconds. I was 324th out of 328, successfully beating four women, one under 14, two in their thirties, and one in her sixties. (The fastest time for this one? A seventeen y-o boy finished in less than 16 minutes, posting a 4:57 minute-mile pace. SICK.)
The second race was fun because almost half of the competitors were in costume of some kind. I saw a Supergirl, a giant banana, a giant peanut, Dr. Seuss' Things 1 &2, and all manner of monsters, cowboys, and convicts.
The coolest thing about both races was confirming what i've been reading and hearing for months: the running community is predominantly made up of really cool, really nice people. I've been cheered on by so many runners, super-fit runners, people who look like they would have mocked me in high school. I got so much encouragement from people there that I couldn't help but start cheering on others myself (usually those who were so far ahead of me they had already doubled back around and were running back the way I came).
I'm back to it this week. There's a 10K on Thanksgiving; I want to try to participate in that. But while I can slog through a 5K without working for it, I don't think I'll be able to finish a 10K in any kind of useful time without training the whole time between now and then.
I haven't given up. Even during my month or so away, I never gave up, and I always felt the nagging feeling i needed to get back to it. But life interrupts. The best we can do is try to adjust.
I'm adjusting. And I'm back.