to marathon or not

Today’s cafeteria special was “Broadway deli” Based on the evidence I’d have to conclude that no one involved with the menu planning has ever been anywhere near a New York deli or reasonable facsimile. No salami, no corned beef, and the only available type of bread that looked anything like rye had raisins in it. (One of those laws of nature that should go without saying is that raisins do not go with cold cuts. Raisins do not go with salty or garlicky things at all, except possibly minor salt in the case of trail mix. Everyoen knows that, I thought.) Nonetheless I had the deli anyway, because it still looked better than the other specials.

It’s going to be weird getting used to a different cafeteria, not to mention a different cuisine. Frikandels and croquets instead of hot dogs and hamburgers. Rudder says there’s always a vegetarian option, which makes me feel a little better – it’s harder to get vegetable meals completely wrong, though the airlines have convinced me it’s not impossible.

Meanwhile, I still haven’t decided about whether to do the marathon tomorrow. One thing that bugs me is that it’s Rosh Hashana – that’s my own fault, for not thinking to check when Rudder proposed the date months ago. You’d think I’d learn, because he always does seem to schedule stuff on my holidays. I just wasn’t thinking about it until it got to close to change, though – and it’s not as if I’d be going to services, anyway. I just can’t think of a good reason to do a marathon. It’s not like anyone is waiting for me to bring news of a battle.

Most of the reasons for doing it are weak or not applicable. The original point was to train for the real thing at the Marathon Rowing Championships in November, but I won’t be doing that race this year. I’ve now done four, two on the erg and two on the water, so just being able to say I’ve done one isn’t an issue. I don’t think I can beat last year’s time, because I haven’t trained as hard. There’s nothing left to prove to my self or anyone else. Rudder got paarticipation medals made this year, but so what. Concept II awards nice glass mugs, but I have 2.  So basically the only real reason is so I don’t feel like a wuss.

The reasons against are a bit stronger. First of course, marathons hurt. They are worse for me than for most people, because I’m small and slow; I pull just as hard, subjectively, but for a lot longer. (The two erg marathon times to date were 4:20 and 4:13. Rudder, who is very fast, broke 3 hours last year.) Since a sore butt is one of the major issues with erging a marathon that extra hour makes a lot of difference. And it just doesn’t mean much to me at this point.

If I don’t do a marathon, I’ll do a half marathon and try to break my own personal record. Right now, that’s feeling like a more meaningful goal. I’d have to be over two minutes faster than any I’ve done this year to beat one from last year, but I think I can do it – I wasn’t really pushing for time in any of my long pieces, and I won’t be using slides as I usually do for practice, which tend to slow my times. (I use them because they’re supposed to make the erg feel more like an actual boat.)

 I just don’t know. I hate to wimp out, but I hate to put myself through that much unnecessary pain, too.

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