Sometimes you have to realize something’s just not going to work out.
Of course, first, you must agonize over whether or not you can make it work out, darn it. But, hopefully, you come to your senses in the end…or you have good friends who help you come to your senses.
I registered for the full Seattle Marathon back in February. I have been wanting to run a second marathon for a couple of years…but promised I would wait till it was a little easier on my family (read: until my son was is school).
But when the time arrived to start training this summer, I was in a serious running slump. I’d just started to fix my diet and lift weights, and my body was finally responding to my workouts how I always thought it should have–becoming lean. I didn’t need to run to get lean. Imagine that!
So the “weight loss” motivation to run was gone. Add to that, many of my running friends had just had babies and that my training buddy had moved to the city, and well, running sounded like a chore…not the fun activity it used to be.
But, I did want that second marathon. Yet, I couldn’t get myself out to run.
I decided I’d just run the half marathon. I do love the Seattle half’s course…and I love running down 5th Avenue with all the twinkly lights.
I still wasn’t getting out to do long runs. My weekly mileage was under 10. No worries, I thought, I can eek it out. I did last year. I can still run it.
But I could barely eek out three miles before getting bored and heading home. I decided to not run.
A smart running friend thought I should try a longer run and see how it goes before I made the final decision. I liked this idea, and thought I could run 7 miles in my sleep. This was a few weeks ago. I knew it would be fine and I would be able to run the half.
When the day came to run 7, I got too busy, so I bumped it to the next day. And when the time came to run 7 the next day, I dragged my feet until the evening. I whined about it. I felt scared to run outside for some reason, but after one mile on the treadmill, I knew I needed to run on the road. Except I was afraid to. I cried because I was so frustrated with myself. Why couldn’t I just do it?
I finally did it, and it wasn’t that bad at all. I vowed to not look at my watch and somehow, I ran a 9:30 pace for 7 miles comfortably. Running outside is just so much easier than a treadmill. I’m in! I can do this!
The next week, however, I ran once: 3 miles. And then skipped my long run again. Ugh!
So I finally decided, with some support from my friends, not to run. Just having the option was stressing me out.
I guess I just need a break from distances right now. I’m moving on to the next race, a 5K…in costume for Christmas…with my friends. It feels totally manageable and. I’m not going to break any PRs, I don’t really want to.
I’d like to run with friends for this one–see what that is like again. And maybe afterward, I’ll sign up for another 5K and work on a new, fast PR.
The marathons can wait.
Sounds like you made the right choice, I went through the same slump last year after my half, in a way it was forced at first but then I lost all my joy with running. It’s better to wait until you actually enjoy it once more. Bummed I won’t get to meet you there but all is well and I totally understand. I’m looking forward to doing some other workouts and short distances after the marathon, I’ve always enjoyed short distances more but I have liked the challenge, growth and endurance I’m experiencing with marathon training.
Oh I hear you. I felt a similar slump this year and every “obstacle” was a welcoming excuse. At some point I decided that I don’t need to find an excuse for not running, it’s ok to take a break. So I stopped running in June and barely ran since then. I hardly miss it. About a week ago, with the fall colors and sunny weather I felt like running and went for a run today. It felt great and I’m glad I allowed myself the break.
It’s definitely good to take a break when your body or mind needs it. Running will always be there for you when you need it. 🙂