(Or why I’m not running a marathon in 2017)
A brief list of things that I have quit…
- Ballet lessons at age 6.
- The neighborhood newspaper my buddy and I started.
- Yoga classes.
- Making homemade soap.
No one is more surprised than I am that this running thing has remained a passion for five years now. It has stayed strong despite long layoffs from surgeries and a complicated pregnancy.
I am just one of many runners to discover or develop the fortitude to overcome obstacles on the way to a goal. It has changed the way I view myself for the better, which is a good thing except…
It can be really, really hard to make a smart decision to dial back a goal since the flip side of strong is stubborn.
Runners are so used to ignoring the little voices in their heads urging caution and comfort: “You don’t want to go for a run today. It’s raining.”
We run anyway. And do you know what happens when you run in the rain? You get the training benefits, you strengthen your mental toughness, and you feel like a badass.
Unfortunately, we can start to think that any voice telling us not to run is the enemy. “You shouldn’t run today. You have a fever, sore throat, and a terrible cough.”
Some of us run anyway. And do you know what happens when you run when you’re really sick? Actually, I don’t know because I’m a homeschooling mom of seven and I don’t have the luxury of being an idiot.
My plan for 2017 was to run my second marathon. My first marathon was the Detroit Free Press Marathon in October of 2016. I was going to be One and Done but as awesome as it was, it was also horrendous, so I want to try again.
But you know life. It sneaks in there while you’re busy making plans. I hadn’t anticipated losing March and April to depression and migraines. It feels great to be on top of those conditions and be running again, but a recent seven mile long run left me sore the next day. I’ve lost too much conditioning.
I’m fairly confident that I could finish a marathon this fall, but less so that I could take an hour or more off my time. I’ve thought about it… prayed about it… and feet at peace about the idea of simply having fun this season.
Marathon training was badassery, but it wasn’t fun, per se.
You know, fun sounds fun! Running All the 5Ks sounds fun. Last year my training group was told to lay off the races in order to follow the plan. We could do one or two but it was a bling-free season.
So I’m okay with my plan to run the Grand Rapids half marathon this October, rather than the full. That will give me a chance to check out the course, as well as the logistics of navigating race weekend in another city.
Hopefully next year I won’t start out behind the 8-ball and I’ll have better base upon which to build my marathon training.