Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why I'm Not Running a Spring Marathon

As some of you may know, my first marathon experience was no cake walk. (Well, I don't know if anyone's marathon existence has been "easy.") After watching my friends train through this past summer and run the Chicago Marathon, I gotta admit I was a little jealous. I know that it was the right decision for me to sit it out (because of the exam I was taking in early December). I was still able to go downtown, spectate and even run part of the race with my friends without worrying about the entire 26.2 distance.

Chicago Marathon 2012

Anyways, the point of this trip down memory lane is that I made a decision while I was studying. I wanted to try running another marathon. I had taken a year off and that made the desire that much greater. Using last year as a guide, I decided to run the Illinois Marathon. I was going to keep it a secret from most of my family and friends and run the race for me. But then, I told a few people about my secret (it was too hard for me to keep that big of a secret from my running friends). I trained through the winter last year... What would make this year any different? I could do my training just like last year and be ready to go by the end of April.

Training through the 2012 "winter"

Well, the return of "normal" Chicago winter temperatures is what's different. My heart and lungs feel like they're working double time when the temps are in the single digits (and the "feels like" temp is in the negative double digits). And the fact that someone left our group at work and we all have to pick up some slack until a new employee is hired (aka a fair share of late nights at the office).

A marathon is a huge deal. It is a big commitment both physically and mentally. I thought I was there and ready, but instead I've decided to sit this spring out. I'm already dying of boredom at the mere idea of doing any of my runs on the treadmill.

The thing about marathons that is so wonderful is that they'll always be there for you, when you're ready for them. There are so many of them and they're everywhere. It looks like spring 2013 isn't the time for me, but that doesn't meant that fall 2013, spring 2014, or fall 2014 will have the same answer...

Have you ever committed to a race and then decided not to do it? I waited to register for the Illinois Marathon so this decision doesn't leave me with an unwanted bib. Although, I am disappointed I won't get the chance to meet Kathrine Switzer at the expo.

18 comments:

  1. The thing about deciding to do a race and then not doing it is that you don't really lose anything except bragging rights and a medal. The true gain is in the training. I've lost quite a few registration fees over the years due to illness at the last minute - usually events in January when flu and colds are rampant. Last year I was supposed to do a half marathon about three weeks after the LA Marathon. I thought I could superwoman myself through it, but the marathon aggravated old injuries, so I just decided to pass on the half. I think a lot of runners commit and don't run - they just don't admit to it. Wait until it feels right to you.

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  2. I totally understand!!! I'm even beginning to question my desire to run Illinois with all the cold and dark and snow right now. But, you're right; marathons will be there for you when you're ready!

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  3. I hope you are doing okay. I know work and life can be rough and sometimes the only thing that holds me together is a training schedule. However, my schedule is very loose. I do what I can do and I just don't stress about it. I'll probably never run a "good" marathon, I just feel the need to keep plugging away. At this point, I've pretty much let go of all expectations for Lansing and just decided to put in the miles and try to make it happen. Come to Lansing with us and run that half!

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  4. I committed to one last year but I had to back out since my life got too crazy after graduating and moving. Thankfully, I could chose to defer my registration to this year, so hopefully this fall I'll be able to do it. It's mostly left me with a hesitation to register for a race until I absolutely know I'll be able to do it.

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  5. Marathons ARE a huge commitment and for you...now is not the right time! I have no doubt that you will get that marathon finish (that you want) and I'll be there to help you with it! Good luck Kelly!

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  6. Haha, I totally understand! It is nice when you have the flexibility of whether or not you want to register for a race. I know that has some people down about the Chicago Marathon. Registration fills up in February for a race in October. A lot can happen in those months!

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  7. Thanks for the support Amanda! I will think about it. :)

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  8. This weather definitely does not lead to motivation! Thankfully, marathons are so popular that they probably wont' be going anywhere any time soon!

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  9. Amy B @ Second City RandomnessFebruary 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I'm glad you're making the smart decision for you. Marathons are huge and people always ask me why I haven't ran one yet. My reply is that you have to want it and you have to be ready. I am neither of those things.

    Plus- yeah, the treadmill is a total suck.

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  10. I felt like I was only ready to do my first marathon when I got over any doubt that I could do it. I still feel this way about future marathons. It IS a huge commitment, and if your heart and mind aren't on board 100 percent, it's just not going to be pretty. Or enjoyable. And this is the case for any race. I know last year when I was overdoing it on races, or doing races as "training runs," by the time the event came around, I just wasn't feeling it and kind of had to drag myself through it. Not fun.. Now, I'm focusing on only doing the races I truly want to do. No more races as training runs. No more "do all the races!" Now I'm focused on doing the events that I truly want to do, and have the appropriate amount of time to train for.

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  11. It's good to know you are not that in to it this far in advance! And good that you did not sign up! There will be plenty to run, another time ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

    I have not run a marathon because of a stress fracture. Ugh. That sucked. But I haven't ever decided not to do one for other reasons.

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  12. Great attitude hon!

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  13. I feel you on this. I have the desire to run another full marathon but I'm just not to that point yet. I know that I will eventually but for now I'm working on other goals. (a sprint triathlon, weight loss, etc)

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  14. I'm proud of you for acknowledging that you set this secret goal and have decided not to do it. Good for you for knowing when it's not the right decision, and for being OK with sharing that! I hope everything works itself out!

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  15. Kudos to you for recognizing your limits and realizing your heart/mind/body wasn't up for a spring 26.2. As you said, there will always be another race waiting with open arms to accept you. Full marathons are a time suck- and not real fun to train for in the winter :)

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  16. That's a tough decision to make. In the end, running is supposed to be fun/enjoyable, so if it stops being that (or safe with crazy weather), then it's a good idea to step back and analyze plans like you did. That race will be there for a long time to come!

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  17. Yes marathons are a big deal, I agree! I'm sitting out the spring marathon too, because I just don't want to go again yet. I don't even have the winter excuse. :) The marathon will always be there, love that line.

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