Thursday, 7 July 2011

Marathon training

Probably time I write something about running. Here goes.
I registered for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon today. I suppose that makes it official. Somehow paying money to run a race hits home faster than months of training for said race. Whatever psychology is going on here probably explains why I  read all the books I buy and none of the ones I download.

Funny thing about registering for this race; I don't remember paying taxes on a race entry before. The tax was probably included in the price until now (e.g. movie tickets), but I feel uneasy about the direction this is going. Between the online processing fee and the HST, this is beginning to feel like buying a plane ticket, except you don't travel as far. Other fees are starting to creep in too, like the $9 engraved finishers' medal and $15 post race massage (The much-needed massages were free at the Ottawa and Boston marathons, or maybe that's in the past).  I imagine a not-so-distant future of power gel fuel surcharges and priority start line access fees. Aah! You can also buy $5 running laces, of which $2 goes to charity, or just donate straight to charity.  So what about those running for charity? Does Ontario tax a tax-deductible donation?

We don't tax groceries, but we tax junk food because it's a luxury. Is racing a luxury? But exercise is one of those things the government wants us to do more of. What if races encourage more people to exercise? Given that gym memberships, shoes, accessories and now races are taxed, are we effectively taxing exercise? Weird. 
Anyhow, ignoring my own internal ranting, I dutifully signed up for the marathon experience. Along with registering my age (29), sex (male), how I learned about the race (sheer divinity), I was also asked for my seed time. I was expecting the best option to be something like "under 3 hours", or thereabouts (at the Toronto Sporting Life 10k the fastest seed time is a mere sub 40 min). They did in fact have an "under 3:10" option, but they had one extra: "under 2:30" (The White Corral). Well.....hey, why not? So I clicked on it and paid up before I could change my mind. 

This is not supposed to be too outlandish a goal. My PB is 2:37, and that was before I knew what mileage was or how to use it. I ran my last marathon with pretty terrible training and no true plan coming in. This time will be different, I hope, but for now running under 2:30 still sounds intimidating. Doing the math, that's four 35:30 10ks and change back-to-back. Seems doable, but it'll take some practice. Fortunately I have a little while ahead before the October 16th start gun fires, which is a long time and not very long at all. Every week has to count for something. Only 101 days to go. That's three months, plus tax. 

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