My Race Rundown [hopefully!]

It’s probably no secret that I have been in a running slump since running 26.2 in Pittsburgh. I haven’t been logging more than a few miles here and there and haven’t done much strength training in weeks. I even gained about 8 pounds since the race and haven’t got too excited for anything running related except for Saturday morning workouts with MIT.
I know post-race blues are normal, I felt down after my first half marathon, but nothing like I feel now. I just feel sad, unmotivated and sluggish. In the weeks leading up to Pittsburgh I wasn’t running a whole lot, given the unexpected passing of my mother, but I felt like I was on a constant high getting ready for the race. There was no way I was going to let my mom down now. Not to mention, watching my teammates and friends cross the finish line at the Cap City Half the week before my race after running with them for six months was one of the greatest experiences of my life. We ran in honor of my mother, both here and in Pittsburgh. It was emotional. It was hard. My mom was supposed to run Cap City. She didn’t get that chance. We ran for her.
Me and Mom
I don’t think I felt the emotions until now. The few times I have run, it hurts – emotionally and physically. I look for my mother on the trails; still pick up the phone to ask her how her run went. I think about the races she would have wanted to run this summer. I think about how she was hopeful to run with the Lucky 13’s. Her last run was at a 13:30 pace, she accomplished her goal. Her reward to herself? Running with us – as if we had a speed requirement anyway!
Physically, my knee hurts. It’s not excruciating, I can still run, but it’s bothering me during normal activities like walking down the stairs, getting up off the floor, or sitting at a desk for too long. That’s how it started before. I’m not afraid of injury again, I just know I need to be proactive with my knee or it will get worse, then I won’t be able to run for awhile, then I will probably feel worse. [This is the part where you tell me I am right]. I’ve slacked on strength training – my knee pulls out of the groove instead of my hamstrings pulling my knee. I can feel it not working right. I need to fix it. Preferably soon. Wow, that was painful to admit too.
So, naturally, I got home from Pittsburgh and signed up for another full marathon in September. The Air Force Marathon to be exact. Only, I’m not ready to jump back into that kind of training. It hurts too much right now. Some days, it’s a struggle for me to make it out the door in the morning, let alone attempt a 15 mile run. Plus, I am not entirely sure that my knee could handle it yet. Last Saturday was supposed to be a nine mile run, I made it to two. Maybe I need a longer break before jumping back into higher mileage.
I want to enjoy running and coaching my pace group. Not feel pressure to get the miles in.
But, I love to race. And I love summer. And I love summer races. It’s my favorite time of the year! Coming up with a race schedule has been difficult. I’ve changed my mind more than once, committed to a race, backed out, and then recommitted again (all in my head).
I’ve asked advice, given myself advice, and continued to rest (mostly) day after day. I’m getting antsy to run. But, the pan still looms fresh before me like a watery haze. I can almost see through it – to the other side – but I can’t get through it just yet. And so I wait and argue with myself and tell myself to chill right before telling myself to get back out there and pound it out on the pavement. They tell me this is normal. I don’t want to disappoint anyone; I don’t want to let myself down. Lately I have felt like it is a no-win situation. 
Today, I came up with a race schedule I think I can live with (both sides of me). Deciding on a race schedule is hard enough – let alone trying to come up with something concrete when you can’t even agree with yourself!
The Nitty Gritty:
Emerald City Quarter (09/04) – I loved the Emerald Half, it was a PR for me, and for as much as I want to run it again, I will give the Quarter a shot.
Air Force Half Marathon (09/17) – Don’t hate me because I changed my registration!
Columbus Full Marathon (10/16) – I backed out of this race once before because of my stupid knee, I won’t let that happen again!
The Goofy Challenge (January 2012) – 39.3 miles in two days! And you thought I was done after 26.2! Or, wait, did I think that instead?!   
Race Club: 5K’s, Fun, and Worthwhile Causes to Me
Race for Ellie (06/12)
Westerville Rotary 5K (07/04)
Panerathon 5K (08/07)
Purple Strides 5K (08/13)
A&F Challenge 5K (09/08)
Oktoberfest (09/23)
EAS 5K & 10 Miler (09/25)
Buckeye Classic 10K (11/13)
So…it’s settled then? I sure hope so! Oh, wait, no one ask me where I will get the funds for these races – I am still working on that part! Overcommitment at it’s finest.
I read back over this post and think, “Should I even run at all?” Ugh, just when I though I was getting somewhere. I miss my mom. Somehow, running is not the same without her.
Then, inspiration comes, from Robert of the Lucky 13’s, We’re the Lucky 13’s, the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the icing on the cake. When the going gets tough, we get going, albeit at a 13 minute mile pace, but…. Nobody does it better! Which makes me feel sad for the rest. Nobody does it quite the way we do, baby, we’re the best!”
 And I know, I’m making the right decision to keep going, even when the going is tough.
Until the next mile marker, 


  1. RunnerMoose says

    Looks like a really good plan, Sara!! I hope this takes some of the pressure off and lets you ENJOY running and training again!

  2. Christina says

    You are such a beautiful person inside and out.

    Duh, of course you should be running at all! Your mama would want you to keep running, and I’m sure she’s always there with you in spirit. Are you a tattoo person? If so, have you considered getting a tatt related to your mom? My mom is still alive, and I got a ‘MOM’ tattoo in her honor on Mother’s Day a few years ago. 🙂

    We are totally meeting up during Air Force weekend!!!!!

    Your leg problems sound sucky. Have you been to the doctor? Good luck, woman!

  3. Sounds like you probably made the right decision on the marathons! I would like to point out that your mother would be furious if we let you stop running, so I’m gonna say you have to run, even if you only do it with other people. Let’s be trail buddies tomorrow, k?

  4. Sara,

    I just love your posts. They are SO honest, real and genuine. I can totally relate to this. After my injury in March I felt so unmotivated to keep trying. The marathon suddenly felt like a burden than anything else. I just wanted to be FINISHED. It took me a while to remember to enjoy the journey. I think that is the best thing I have learned with running. I can’t always be focused on the finished product…of course crossing the finish line is motivating and AWESOME to look forward to…but at the same time…I gotta enjoy where I am at now to be able to move forward!

    I love that quote from your Lucky 13s! So perfect! Good luck with your race schedule! I am excited for you 🙂

  5. Anonymous says

    I’m so sorry. There really is no way through it but through it. Running will help no doubt…or even walking! I’m sad I didn’t know your mom. She sounds lovely, but I’m betting she’d tell you to get your hind-end out there!

  6. I too have lost my mom relatvely young and I have similar struggles. Hugs to you! Your race schedule is inspiring! I’m signed up for a couple of the same races!

  7. Julie D. says

    YOU CAN DO IT!! My heart goes out to you as you run through the grief of losing your mom!! May she give you the strength you need for the long RUn, Sara!! Get after it!

  8. YOU CAN DO IT!! My heart goes out to you as you run through the grief of losing your mom!! May she give you the strength you need for the long RUn, Sara!! Get after it!

  9. RunnerMoose says

    Looks like a really good plan, Sara!! I hope this takes some of the pressure off and lets you ENJOY running and training again!

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