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See the blood in this pic, under my left arm pit?  That was due to chafing after 23 miles into the Denver Marathon.  Of course this pic is at the finish.  You would think completing a marathon, all bloody no less, would indicate what a committed, disciplined and serious athlete I must be.  Not really.  I mean, I have my moments, but I can be just as equally the biggest slacker to ever lace up his racing shoes.  I was motivated to get into road racing shape – mostly out of fear – after registering for the Imogene Pass Run.  I’d worked up to 45 miles per week, including regular hilly mountain trails.  But in the month between the IPR and Denver Marathon, and the weeks since, I’ve dropped to 30 miles per week.  Worse, I’m back to averaging four drinks per night.  By my measure, four drinks over five hours doesn’t make me a drunk, but it won’t earn me parent of the year either.  The combination of running only 30 miles per week and four tasty beverages per night has put a halt to any improvements in my athletic conditioning.  I’d lost 15 pounds this year, and had hoped to lose yet another 10, but it won’t happen at this pace.  In fact, I’m in danger of regaining lost weight.  I need to turn this around and get back on track.

Still high from a sub 4 hour time in the Denver Marathon, I registered for the February 20th Austin Marathon.  My logic was to give myself a goal that would keep me training through the winter.  Seems like a good call.  Problem is, it’s not working.  To be fair, I’m still running everyday.  But the diminished distance and lapse of drinking discipline is dire.  I’m walking up an escalator moving downwards the other direction.

In my defense, my work load at IBM isn’t leaving me much time for longer runs.  I can only seem to squeeze in a 30 minute run, and I don’t have time for weights anymore.  I haven’t lifted since the IPR.  I’m still running 8 to 10 miles on weekends, but I’ve dialed down the intensity on those as well.  I recognized my slacker attitude this week, which is why I’m blogging about it, and I’m going to turn this around.  Starting Wednesday or Thursday, I reduced the volume of drinking by half.  And today, I returned to the mountain trail, Heil Valley Ranch, that prepped me for the brutal IPR.  An 11 mile run consisting of 5.5 miles up and 5.5 miles back down, over rocky, single track.

I worked too hard this year to allow for any reversals.  I’m going to refocus my efforts.  In my giddiness as I registered for the Austin Marathon, I had thoughts of breaking 3 hours.  I really want to break 3 hours.  I at least want to do well.  My first event at sea level presents opportunities.  And I would like to lose a few more pounds between now and race time.  I will not allow myself to lose any more momentum!  I’m kickin’ it back up a notch!  Stay tuned.