As many of you know, over the summer I registered for the Newport Half Marathon which will take place on October 18. Earlier this week, I decided that I am not going to run it. There are a few reasons, including the hip pain that has been keeping me from training properly over the past 6 weeks or so, the cough that I have had in the last week that has made me winded walking up the stairs, and a work schedule over the next two weeks that is my busiest for the entire year. Instead of heading to Newport for the race, we are going to plan a fun weekend somewhere else, doing active things like hiking and jogging, and giving myself time to rest, get over my illness, injury, and exhaustion, and to get ready for the next adventure.
Over the course of the past week when I started thinking about this decision, I definitely was able to see the lessons learned.
1) I started training way too early for an October 1/2 marathon. I got very caught up in fitness blogland running where many people want/need to train hard for long periods of time and run almost every day. Realistically, I should have started my training on August 18. Starting too early makes me burn out, get injured, and lose sight of the race I am training for. To avoid this problem, I am not going to start an official marathon training plan for the Boston Marathon until January 2. I will of course be running, spinning, weight training, doing yoga, walking, and training on the elliptical in the meantime, building up a strong base of fitness to start from but avoiding the overuse that comes with just running for too long.
2) At my current job, I can not train hard in the summer. Early May until the end of October is my absolute busiest time, and I am lucky many days if I can do more than walk home, make something healthy to eat, and get myself ready to sit back down at the computer. Its not a time where I have energy to spare, and when I train during these times, I just end up hating it.
3) I’m just not ready mentally, and mental readiness and confidence are the most important things for long distance races. Starting from scratch to train for the Boston Marathon will give me the opportunity to regroup, find running partners who will help me to have a better sense of where I am with my training, and will overall provide a sold sense of knowing that I am ready, not constantly questioning and dreading the race. I can not train for distances longer than 10 miles by myself. End of story.
4) I don’t need to waste a second being nauseous and anxious about a race that I chose to sign up for. Running is supposed to be fun and healthful. I am not going to make a living off of prize money or represent the US in the next Olympic marathon. Its for me, so when I decide that I don’t want to do it, that’s it. So, I am starting from scratch, like someone who has never run before. I am more excited than ever for the journey to the finish line on April 20 with Team ALLY, and I am grateful to have all of you along the way!
Random photo of autumn’s arrival in Boston