My kidney stones behind me, I'm left contemplating what training I can carry out without nausea being ever-present as a companion. Ironically part of me feels that marathons might be in my past. Sure I've registered for the Okanagan Marathon in October but lately I've been reflecting on the notion that repeated long distance running isn't all that great for the body. Despite recent trends that have people seeking out more heroic feats of endurance , the science says that 2.5 hours per week of exercise is really the sweet spot for healthy living. It seems about 50km a week of running might be the area where athletes get the most benefit with the least harm. That certainly falls below marathon training loads.
But I'm unsure what I'll do. Last year I admit I just wasn't mentally into my long runs while training for the Victoria marathon. That reflected in my results but a big part of that may have been the roulette wheel of whether I'd vomit after the run ended. That grew pretty old pretty quick. So this summer I plan to train in earnest for my October marathon and see how I like it. If I don't, then it's time to pack up for shorter races. Who knows, maybe that's the ticket for keeping me a lifelong runner.
I've missed nearly all of the local Island Series races as I dealt with two kidney surgeries and one long bout of a virus that knocked me out for nearly two weeks. That leaves me with the final race of the series, the Bazan Bay 5K this coming weekend. Since I haven't really trained it's doubtful I'll perform well, but I'm really looking forward to lacing up at an official start line nonetheless. After that I've planned to participate in the Cedar Ultra 6 hour event in June just for fun before I start marathon training. I did it last year, mostly walking, and did 46km so I suspect I'll exceed that this year going against my shorter distance philosophy. There will be a substantial amount of walking.
I have two cycling events planned, a Gran Fondo in the Okanagan in July and a shorter event in Victoria in August which I'll do side by side with my wife. I'm also considering trying my hand at some time trial events with my local cycling club. My hope is that my second Gran Fondo will be raced rather than just ridden for fun like I did in Vancouver in 2017. Certainly the weather should be better than the cold rain I had last year.
That's about it for my racing calendar. I want to keep it light and see how my body feels or if this feeling I have right now of healthiness is just a mirage. Mostly though I'm very much in a state of gratitude. I haven't been an athlete for very long, lacing up for the first time in 2012 after a life as a couch potato. Having my running identity threatened recently shook me as I reconsidered my assumption I'd be a lifelong runner. Now my plan is to take it a little easier on myself, do more yoga, more balanced exercise and reconsider the desire I have for self flagellation through running.