Just Plain Hard

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking this past week and this weekend.  I have been thinking all this time about whether to keep training for the full marathon in October or switch to the half marathon. 

I have decided to change my entry to the half marathon, instead of the full marathon.
And this was a just plain hard decision to make.
I feel like a gigantic failure.
This training season has been particularly hard for me, but I feel like every reason I could give as to why it has been hard, is just an excuse…so what exactly are my excuses?
My knee injury has caused enough problems that I have missed three long training runs, plus some shorter runs over the past three weeks.  It’s been hot and humid beyond belief, and I am lazy (or easily bored) when it comes to putting in miles on the treadmill.  I have been trying to help my dearest friend through an overwhelmingly rough time in her life; hence I have been traveling a little more than usual.  I have been picking my husband up from work most weeknights because the transmission is blown on his car.  Don’t get me wrong, I would give up anything to help my friend and my husband and I guess I can’t control my knee or the weather…I just feel like maybe if I got up by 4:30 every morning instead of trying to run in the evening….I would still be on target for the October full.
And frankly, so far, I have not been enjoying training for the full marathon as much as I did the half marathon.  The marathon schedule is very difficult, compared to the half.  I feel as if there is no margin for error, no recovery time, no time to catch your breath.  In fact, I have heard several runners say the marathon is meant to push you to a level you have never reached before – you have to learn to run when your body physically can’t and your mind just won’t let you.  I’ve experienced this many times this spring and summer.  I’ve already pushed my body to the point of injury (minimal as it is) and my mind is easily swayed so maybe I just need a break.
I just feel like such a failure – 2010 was supposed to be my year.  Everyone says, “We’re not disappointed in you.”  “You’ve already come so far!”  “You don’t want to risk blowing your knee out.”  “You went from nothing to running 20 plus miles a week.”  “Give yourself a break!”
But although I don’t want a break, maybe I need one.  That’s why, even though I am sad, I am going to strive to run the full in 2011.  It will be my new goal.  26.2 In 2011.  Ugh…it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I read this quote today by Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ and it really rang true to me:
 “The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.”
I still love running, and I want to always love running.  So now I am going to take some time to get back on track.  Heal my knee, be there for my friends and family, run a few halfs (three, I think!), a few 5K’s, (including my mom’s first 5K and the Tunnel to Towers Run in NYC), and work on my times.  I can do that.  I’m excited for that.
And I know, that somewhere down the road, like 2011, I will run a full marathon.  I’m not backing down, I just might take a little longer than some to get there.  So, I’m not going to look at this as my failure…or my break, for that matter…I am going to look at this as an extension of my training, just a little added on to the back of my plan to make sure I can reach my goal of finishing the Marathon.

“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost

Comments

  1. Sara, It sounds like you need a change of routine. Have you tried biking on days you are suppose to run? How about elliptical? When I ran Cross country I actually did better in my races and my endurance when I combined cycling 1-2 times per week instead of running…
    Sara, you are such an inspiration to me and I look up to your strength. When I have trouble getting into working out I always seem to think about you and how much you have accomplished and it gives me motivation to stick with my workout. Don’t feel like your quitting…you are just preparing for a later date!I will keep you in my prayers. Take care of yourself.

  2. Sara, It sounds like you need a change of routine. Have you tried biking on days you are suppose to run? How about elliptical? When I ran Cross country I actually did better in my races and my endurance when I combined cycling 1-2 times per week instead of running…
    Sara, you are such an inspiration to me and I look up to your strength. When I have trouble getting into working out I always seem to think about you and how much you have accomplished and it gives me motivation to stick with my workout. Don’t feel like your quitting…you are just preparing for a later date!I will keep you in my prayers. Take care of yourself.

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge