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April 3, 2013

Decisions

Last week, I was exhausted.

I had just come off of 2 1/2 weeks off of marathon training and jumped into a 40 mile week. I was setting my sites on somewhere between 45-48 miles with the goal of finally hitting the coveted 50 mile week that I have yet to achieve in any marathon training cycle.
You can see how well that worked out. 
I ran 11. I took Thursday off because of shooting pain in my calf. I got a nice leg massage from The Pilot which immediately made me feel better. During said leg massage was one of the first times I've ever turned to my marathon-averse boyfriend for running advice. We had a long talk about how I was feeling after 2 weeks off, how I was feeling about the marathon and I decided to sleep on our conversation.

Friday morning, my leg felt fine. I started thinking about my planned 20 miler for Saturday and realized that I didn't want to run 20 miles this weekend. This wasn't just me lacking motivation or being tired, there was no part of me that wanted to run 20 miles this weekend...or any miles for that matter.

See, I took a year between my first and 2nd marathons. Then, without missing a beat after my 2nd, I jumped into training for my 3rd and run my 3rd, 4th and 5th marathons without taking a break in between.

I'm tired. I'm at the point where I feel like I have to run, rather than I want to run. So, I made a bold move.

I decided not to run the marathon I've been training for. It's 4 weeks away but I just don't want to do it. I do still want to run so I'm channeling my energy into a much less daunting task: Running a PR at the Cleveland Half-Marathon in May.


I haven't trained for a Half in over 2 years. I have a strong base built up and I'm strong right now...I want to keep running, I just don't want to run a Full. After Cleveland, I'm going to take some much needed time off from training plans and high mileage to build on all of the strength I'll need to take on my one and only shot for a sub-4 marathon this year at the race where I tried to go sub-4 for the first time: The Marine Corps Marathon.

But for now, I'm not even thinking about that, for now, I'm not running a Spring Marathon and I'm totally fine with that. 

12 comments:

  1. Good for you! I still can't believe how many marathons you've run. It blows my mind to be honest. But I really do relate and appreciate this post. After running 2 halfs back to back, I felt so burned out that I took several months off of running completely. Then came my injury and now I'm finally feeling my love for running again, but that took almost a year off to regain. Can't wait to hear about your upcoming half though!

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  2. It's a tough pill to swallow, but I commend you for knowing your limits too. And now you have time to REST, and get ready for hitting MCM in goal-fashion. You got this. :)

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  3. This is such an honest post. Thank you!! I think sometimes it can seem like every runner is constantly itching to run 26 miles. I really appreciate your honesty and think it's great you are listening to your body.

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  4. Tough decision but probably a good one!!

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  5. I'm proud of you for deciding to run the half. If running isn't fun then what's the point of doing it.

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  6. Great decision! Running should always be a desire, not an obligation. Your body and your head are telling you not right now. There will always be races to run; there's no need to run them all at once!

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  7. You know what's funny? There is a part of me that is kinda, sorta relieved that I don't have to/can't train for my marathon anymore. Like you, I felt so exhausted but also beat up and just plain overwhelmed by all the training. I didn't and still haven't even cried over the diagnosis. I feel like I should be more upset but I'm not. I'm just kinda like, well, that's that.

    No one ever said, "you HAVE to run a marathon" we choose to, so I commend you for pulling your own plug. Seriously, that takes guts. Enjoy the break, enjoy the runs, enjoy taking the pressure of yourself.

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  8. That's definitely a tough position, but I KNOW you will PR that half :) So excited to see you at the starting line!!!

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  9. Sounds like a smart decision but a hard one. Good for you.

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  10. I don't think it's less daunting to aim at a PR at the 1/2. I think it's an amazing goal and a great decision! You go girl!

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  11. I think you did the right thing. I usually had 1 year between marathons and but even with that I felt mentally exhausted during the last one. In order to run a good marathon you need to be completely ready - mentally and physically. Good job on listening to your body!!

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  12. Good decision. I have always had better training cycles and results after I take some time off. The Cleveland 1/2 was my first long distance race ever...in 2005. Great race!

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