Change of (Marathon) Plans...

Yep, I claimed that I was going to focus on dwelling in the positive.  Here's my attempt at being positive about putting ye olde marathon plans aside for now...

I signed up for the Eugene Marathon in July, back when they had a $10 off the early bird special and my legs felt footloose and fancy free. 

It was right after I went to do an easy six and tacked on two more miles just for fun - that's how great I was feeling this summer. Full of PRs and fresh legs. I suppose that when you start on a running journey, there's going to be a period of constant improvement, constant PRs and immediate rewards.  And now, I'm in the all to common injury phase.

Just a mere six months later and I'm struggling with an easy six, and definitely unable to fathom adding two more miles for fun.  My paces have gone down the toilet and I'm not even at the place I was before my first half marathon.  Since September I've been lamenting to anyone with ears about the recurring pain I have in my left leg; I'm sick of listening to myself talk about it, too - believe me. 

I kinda feel like Ted talking about Elaine... (if you don't know what I mean, watch this video from about :40 to 1:30)

I did PT for a few weeks and was feeling decent by October, so I took it easy until the Seattle half.  After that race, my leg was a bit angry with me, but I figured that backing off for a month and doing extra PT would set me to rights, just in time for marathon training.  I figured wrong. 

So, I'm seeing a chiropractor; our insurance changed as of January 1st and they have more coverage than PTs.  Not sure how I feel about this, as I've always thought the whole chiro thing is a bit gimmicky and my first adjustment? WHOAH!  Kinda freaked me out.  It didn't hurt, but I'm one of those people that can't even stand when people crack their knuckles.  But, I'll do what I have to do to get back to where I was, when I was super happy with my running.  I'm also ramping back up the PT exercises I did in the fall and a few teammates happen to be PTs, so I might work with them as well.  I'm hoping to still travel to tracktown and run in the footsteps of legends, but I think the 26.2 will have to wait.  At least I'm paying what seems reasonable for a half marathon by registering early (dwelling! positive!). 

I have a pretty decent list of goals and I don't want to mess up 2 or 3 other really important ones (like trail running and Ragnar!) over this, just because it's a big goal and it's what everyone else is doing.  It's hard to gain perspective once you're part of the running community, especially on Twitter where damn near everyone is running marathons or even ultras.  I have to remind myself what's right for me and I want to be in that place of adding extra miles for fun before I venture off on the marathon path.  Maybe next year, maybe five years from now, maybe when the kids are in school, maybe when I'm 50, like Sweaty Emily's mom - just whenever it feels 100% right.  I now know that I will never say never.   



  1. I love that you pointed out it feels like everyone is doing marathons and ultras - I feel the same way. I think that's partly why I let myself get talked into CIM last year. It went well, but I was CRANKY about it during training. You are doing the right thing to rest and recover, taking shorter distances does not make you less of a runner! Notice there are no marathons on my race schedule right now either... :)

  2. I was sidelined in December and decided to pull out of my first marathon, which would have been this weekend. Even though I was only out 2 1/2 weeks, I didn't feel confident in my training. Keep the attitude that even though you may not be doing the one you were training for, there will be others. Taking care of your body is most important!

  3. I'm very sorry about the switch to the half. So very frustrating. I look forward to seeing you in Eugene though, full or not!

  4. I was freaked about my first adjustment at the Chiropractor too! Are you seeing a Sports Chiro?
    Good luck!

  5. Sorry to hear about this, I know you were pumped about doing a marathon but you have exactly the right attitude and now you'll be able to enjoy your year not having to worry if training for a marathon will be the only thing you do this year :). Plus running Ragnar will be WAY more fun than a marathon...trust me ;)

  6. You will know when the time is right. Glad I'm not the only one who runs but has not run a marathon YET!

  7. I saw your link on the RLAM fb page. :)
    I made the same decision this week, to bow out of my next marathon. I fell absolutely in love with long distance when I started marathon training the fist time, and knew the second I crossed that finish line that I wanted to do more. I have been waiting and working toward it since my baby was born last summer and anxiously looking forward to the chance to do it again. I picked a March marathon in a warmer location a few hours south of me to keep my motivation up through the winter. My A race is one coming up in May, but I found a way to squeeze one in for March and another for April. It's been a rough winter. Between baby who doesn't understand the allure of sleep, sick kiddos, sick me and just crazy life, my training hasn't gone nearly as well as I wanted. I've been on track with distance of long runs, run in single digit temps, and even learned to not hate my treadmill. But as I looked at the 18mi on schedule for this weekend and took inventory of how exhausted I am right now (physically and mentally), I had to own up to the fact that my body just isn't ready for a March marathon. I could probably push through and make it happen, but my ITBand would likely revolt, I fear what that little tight spot on my calf might do, and that would probably derail my plans for the May marathon and my summer plans (including Ragnar!).
    I'm totally bummed and that die hard part of me feels like a quitter. The sensible side of me knows that this is the best choice, especially for the long term, but I have this feeling like I'm somehow letting someone down. I'm not even sure who! lol
    It's hard to let go of something big, especially when you've looked forward to it for so long. Marathon really is amazing, it is definitely something that changes you. But being ready for it is so important! You made the right choice, and hopefully the half will be the perfect race for you! If you decide to go for the marathon one day, awesome. If not, so what? One of the things about running is that it is so intensely personal. I need to remember that more often and run for myself and not to keep up with anyone else.

    (and sorry for all the rambling! Apparently I'm still processing my call to pull out and needed to talk it out. :P )