- The Move. I have been so busy repainting, dealing with contractors, unpacking, and getting acquainted with my new area that I have had little time for anything else. I still have been running, but the long runs have been weighing on my mind, occupying space that is normally concerned with important things like whether or not I should grow out my bangs or if Lindsay is ever going to stay out of jail. Let's just say that the added stress of worrying about the marathon was becoming a burden.
- The Heat. Oh good heavens, the heat. When I ran The Marathon in 2004, I lived in Boston and trained all through the summer. Sure, there were a few days that were hot and sticky, but here? It's hot and sticky EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I get up at five in the morning and it's already like 84 degrees with muggy, sticky, humid air sucking the life out of you. It has KILLED me to run outside. I consider myself a pretty seasoned runner, but I've never ran in heat and humidity like this. Two years ago, I could run 18 miles, come home and rehydrate, and be ready to go for the day. I did six miles here two Saturdays in a row and had to sleep for four hours in the middle of the day when I got home. I just felt physically sick after my runs, and I've always felt great afterwards.
- The Time Factor. Truth be told, I'm feeling a little selfish with my time lately. I feel like our summer has been cut short this year and I want to enjoy every last bit of it. My kids really got gypped out of a good summer vacation, and I want to make the most of the time we've got left.
- The Mental Game. It's just not there. Much as I'd like to fight my way across the finish line, side-by-side with my brothers (or slightly ahead of them, hee hee), I'm just not feelin' the race this year. I don't have the slightest desire to do it. Those of you that have done one know that at least 50 percent of running a marathon is mental. You have to at least want to do it. Which I just don't.
- The Laziness. I'll call a spade a spade, my friends. I am just plain feeling lazy this year. I'd rather sleep in a little bit, get up and do a quick 40 minutes on the treadmill every day (while watching Sopranos reruns or some other first-rate TIVO'd goodie) and be done. Three hour runs on a Saturday? Yeah, just not where my heart lies this year.
So hats off, Dan and Matt, for sticking it out. I have no doubt that you'll get a much faster time without me holding you back. I'll be cheering from afar and be thinking of you every Saturday morning when I wake up at 10 and eat myself a big stack of pancakes. You're much better men than I.