Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tough to admit....

This is VERY hard to admit. A part of me feels like I am giving up. If I have learned anything about myself in the past three years of running and weight-loss/healthy lifestyle journey, it is that I do NOT give up. I keep going.  Another part of me feels like I am letting people down. In fact, that's what has taken me so long to make this decision final. I didn't make this decision lightly. I have changed my registration from the Marathon to the Half Marathon for the Nationwide Columbus Marathon coming up in just less than two months.

Jeff told me not to think of it as giving up. Think of it as re-prioritizing. I have said for the past couple months that this would be my last marathon; I even used the phrase "I'm retiring from marathoning". Ever? Maybe. For a while? YES, absolutely. I feel badly as I know Jamie really wanted to run the full marathon, but has had some injuries and she NEEDS to run the half. I have no injuries that are keeping me from running the marathon. Since I started training for USAF Marathon last June (2011), I have said that you HAVE to have a really good reason for running a full marathon; it's a freaking long way. A ton of miles in training and race day is LONG. After the disaster that was the Cleveland Marathon (read about that here), I thought I had that reason....I wanted to improve my time, I wanted a 4:30 or better. However, before starting my actual training for Columbus in July, I was lacking the motivation. I was running for the joy of running and I loved it again. I didn't want to start training. But, I had committed. I thought it would be like the usual and that I would soon get with the program. However, looking at my training schedule of the weeks gone by, and the missed runs; it hasn't happened. Last week, I skipped my mid-long run. I had NO desire to get up and run 8 miles on a week-day morning. I was dreading future 8 mile and 10 mile mid-long runs. Essentially, I have been training for big races for the past 2 years without more than a month or so break between a race and a new training plan. Many runners can do this. Many runners can do more. At this point in my life, not me. I am burned out. Not from running. I still LOVE running! I'm burned out from training. I thought I should push through and run a third marathon. After all, I was in the best shape of my life. Shouldn't I capitalize on that?

Running as a Children's Champion was the part that was keeping me from making this decision sooner. I feel like I'm letting anyone that has sponsored me down. There are plenty of Children's Champions that will run the Half instead of the full marathon. But, I asked for sponsors for the full marathon and I apologize to those of you that have donated money and claimed a specific mile. I will assign you new miles and your money is still going to the same FANTASTIC cause. I will just be running the half and cheering on the full marathoners after I finish my portion of the race. (I'm sure my family will secretly be cheering that I'll only be running TWO hours instead of MORE than FOUR hours).

The biggest deciding factor for me is my family. I need to be happy with myself and my life or everyone is miserable. If you know me or if you've been following my blog or following me on twitter for any length of time, you know that for me, family always comes first. I haven't been happy lately. I've been exhausted and partially resentful of my training, which made for an unhappy mom. Since I mostly made up my mind the other day, started getting more sleep and talked everything over with my fantastic hubby the other day, I've been a better mom and a better wife.  I tried to do it all, to be Supermom, SuperRunner, SuperWife. Yeah, that just wasn't working for me right now.... Now, I did give myself through my long run yesterday to make my final decision. When a 14 mile run hurt more than it should because I haven't been keeping my mileage up and haven't been doing as much strength and cross-training to support the long runs, I KNEW.

Ragnar Relay in Tennessee is the other big deciding factor. I'm sure I could push myself through a marathon finish. But, chances are, I would end up injured. Our Ragnar Relay is THREE weeks after the Columbus Marathon. I am excited to go try a 200 mile overnight relay and if I pushed through a marathon that I wasn't fully prepared for, I'm sure I would end up injured. No way am I missing out on this crazy adventure with some of my really good friends (not to mention the $$ we've already paid for the weekend!)

Of course I talked to Jeff about my decision and being the wonderful husband that he is, he tells me to do what I need to do, that he and the boys will support me no matter what. And, I had to talk to Jamie (duh! my best running friend, how could I not run this past her?!), too. After we talked a while, I sent her an email, too and this is what I get from her "There is absolutely no reason for you to feel bad for not wanting to run 26.2.  That is a ridiculous number of miles to do just because you can." Yeah, that helped! :) Thanks, Jeff & Jamie! 

While training for Cleveland Marathon in early spring, I told Jamie I wanted to concentrate on shorter distances. I didn't have the desire to run another marathon, to go through the long training miles. She does. She continuously tells me that she enjoys the long training runs. I prefer 10 miles. 13.1 is ok too. I'll even go up to 15 or 16. Other than that. No, no real desire. (So why in the world did I sign up for another marathon?! sheesh!) The Half Marathon distance is my FAVORITE race distance and I am excited to be running the Columbus Half Marathon. That tells me something right there!

I know I made the right decision for my family. It may not be the most popular decision amongst the running community, but I am a mom first, runner second; and I am HAPPY with my decision.

Have you ever changed a race registration to a shorter distance  for any reason other than injury?


  1. I'm glad I could help! That's what BRFs are for. :)
    Good for you for making the best decision for YOU.
    I can't wait to share the half with you!

  2. good for you!! be proud of the decision you made! its definitely not a failure, but a smart decision based on what you know is most important in your life! thats very admirable!!! SPA LOVE

  3. I am so glad you posted this. I have been thinking about giving up half marathons :) for a lot of the same reasons. I like to do 1 a year with my sister, but I am not feeling the love this go around for the Columbus Half in October. Some of it is because I haven't felt well, but I love running between 6-8 miles. Over that starts to feel rough. It is tough to make the decision you did! Way to go!

  4. I'm in the same boat with you. I wanted to get my first 26.2, but then trained for triathlon, and find that I enjoy the sprint triathlons more than just running alone. Next season will be focused on triathlon, not distance running. I've bailed on the 26.2 and opted for the 13.1 as it makes more sense to my longer term goals. Any endurance that I do gain for going 26.2 will quickly be lost, and I put myself at risk for an injury and also missing that RAGNAR relay. I want RAGNAR more than I want 26.2!

  5. You never want to run a marathon if your heart and mind aren't totally committed to it because it is a beast!!! I also know how hard it is to make that change...I'm doing that for Erie today and I may have to do it for Columbus, too, due to injuries. Having just done the Hood to Coast Relay this weekend, you'll have a blast on your RAGNAR relay. I'm proud of you for doing the right thing when I know it was not an easy choice. You and your family comes first!!!

  6. You should be proud that you are listening to your body and that you're doing what is right for you ... not just what other people want or expect. My best running friend is going through the same struggle right now. I actually wrote this post in her honor last week about getting through a mental rut, and one of the options being taking a break or moving down to a shorter distance ( Becoming a better runner is just as much about learning from the experiences we have and listening to our bodies as it is about crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles. You will have a great fall season and you are still strong and awesome. Be proud of your decision.

  7. Sounds like you made a perfect decision! I would love to train and race more but 1-2 races a year is all I can balance with my family and life. I remind myself that when my kids are older I will have more solo time and be able to train more. Running is supposed to make us BETTER at what we do, so when it's not, time to reevaluate. I'm sure you're going to love running for the fun of it.

  8. Good for you for being brave and writing about this. And for being honest with yourself and those around you. I too LOVE the half and think after my next full I will stick with what I love :)

  9. Anne,

    I know how hard of a decision this had to be for you. Good for you for keeping your priorities in mind. I had to make a similar decision in April 2011 when I was training for the full Flying Pig. You can read a little about it here:

    The half marathon is now my favorite distance. I have taken my energy and focused on getting faster. Much more manageable with being a Mom and our busy schedules.



  10. I'm training for my first half marathon right now, and there is nothing EASY about it, but I find it satisfying, fun and even relaxing (well, not DURING the run, but I am a much more easy-going mom when I've gotten my run on) There is no shame in switching distances (good thing that's available!) especially when preparing for the marathon interferes in your life in a negative way. I can't imagine anyone would have a problem with you doing what's best for you, your health and your family!

  11. Sounds like the right decision for you! It's never easy to change your plans, but ultimately, if it's not making you happy, there is no reason to run that extra 13.1! Good for you for making the change!

  12. Thank you all for your kind words! I appreciate each and every comment on here, twitter, facebook and dailymile although I hadn't had time to comment on them all this week. I have had a sense of relief this week and totally enjoyed my runs. It tells me that it is definitely the right decision for me!

  13. Hi Anne,
    Disappointed I missed this post when you first wrote it, but never mind... Love it! So honest, so thoughtful and it resonates with me absolutely. As you know, I am training for my first full marathon and was struck down by injury. I am on the mend and if i can manage my long runs this week and next, then I will be lining up at the start line on 14 Oct. If not, I will have to see about changing to the half. All along, I have told my husband that I will only do one marathon in my life as the time commitment is too large never mind the creaks in my aging body. Juggling the runs with my family and work has been tricky. When I had to face the fact that I might not run this marathon I felt annoyed mostly because I dont want to have to commit to this kind of training plan again and ask so much of my family. Your words along the lines of you dont have to run a full marathon just because you can, were perfect for me to hear today. Thank you so very much from across the other side of the world.

    I WILL line up on 14 Oct for a beast of a run in my red running dress with my 666 bib no and I will think of all my twitter running friends and all that they have achieved. I will join the mum marathoner crew and then I will return to being a mum first, a runner second.....



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