I'm the type of person who needs to have a goal in mind, in order to train properly. I can't run to run. I can't go to the gym to keep fit. And when I fenced, I couldn't just fence because I love it.
My current long term goal is to be a World Marathon Major Six Star finisher. To date, I have two stars - London and Berlin. Without a pandemic, I would have added Chicago this year, but it was not to be.
The short term goal - the next training block - is to run the Edinburgh Marathon in May, and do it in a time that puts me on the Boston Marathon starting line in 2022. Hopefully I'll have all six done by the end of 2023 - one COVID-lost year later than originally expected.
But now, this has happened:
Commonwealth Senior and Veteran Championships, happening in my backyard, in (just under) two years' time.
The last time I trained seriously at fencing was the last time the Commonwealths were being held in the UK - in Scotland, back in 2014. Six years ago. I was too young for veterans, and - as it turns out - too old for seniors, as I fell short of making the qualifying team.
After that, I got a little out of shape waiting to join the veteran fencing ranks. I decided to run a marathon. And I found that running fits my life better these days than fencing does. I need the flexibility - the ability to use my morning or lunch hour to run, rather than a fixed time in the evening. The ability to get my run in wherever I might be.
But I didn't really have a running goal after that first marathon, and I reached the magical age of 40, and qualifications for Vets. My new goal became the Commonwealths again - this time in the veteran category. Canberra 2018.
This time life got in the way, and the finances weren't really going to work. I turned back to running. More specifically, I entered the Berlin Marathon, and put the Six Stars in my sights.
But now? That Commonwealth Championships is sitting there. Quite tantalizing.
And I'm torn.
Shoes or sword?