Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The marathon debacle

On Sunday, I was supposed to run the Philadelphia Marathon. I had been training for the marathon for a few months leading up to my wedding, but I had slacked off on my training in the past month, mostly out of laziness and boredom. I know it's a silly thing to say, but getting past the wedding was kind of a bummer. I loved our wedding and our honeymoon (and I wanted our vacations to last longer), but it was something that I so looked forward to for so long that having it over and done with (and being put back in the same place I was before the wedding) has been a little bit hard, I must admit. So, I slacked off on my running (and a lot of other things as well) and I just wasn't sure about running the marathon. Then it turned out that Alex was getting job interviews in the Bay Area and he had to leave the day of the marathon (before it even started). I had asked him to run with me for a ways during the race, since I knew my motivation would flag at some point. So, then I just scrapped the whole idea of doing the marathon. I know that I can do it, if I put in the proper training, but I knew that I hadn't trained well enough. Anyways, I decided to show up the day of the marathon and just run the half. That's a distance I knew I could do, so I set out to at least try that. And let me tell you, I struggled from the start. It just wasn't my day. My feet were frozen from standing around for so long - it took me at least a mile to warm up my feet. My pace was too fast. I had to pee at mile 4 (and wait in a line for at least 5 mins). My feet and knees started to hurt pretty early on, around mile 6 or 7, and the hills (tiny ones) on the course were killing me. I ended up being at the back of the pack for most of my run, which is honestly a little demoralizing and totally not motivating at all. I finished the race with a burst of speed, passing by a man who had collapsed with 1/4 mile to go. I'm pretty sure he died. How awful, right?
I had originally signed up for this race as a challenge to myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something so crazy, so long, that I had the stamina and endurance to run a marathon. The truth is that I know I can do it, I just don't know that I want to do it anymore. I like running because it makes me feel good, it relieves my stress and it makes me feel strong and powerful. But I'm not sure I want that goal anymore, the goal of running a marathon. I think I'd like to improve my pace (I'd like to slip below the 10min mile, if I could). And I'd like running to not feel like a chore, like it has felt for a while now. I'd also like to do something else, like strength training and pilates and yoga. So, I think I will change things up this winter. Next winter, when we're in CA, I can train all I want. The cold/ice won't be there to bother me. But for now, I think running is going to be a 3-4 times a week thing, but with less focus on a goal and more focus on happiness. I actually think I learned more from not running the marathon than I did from running it. I need to change it up, refocus and gain back some of that joy from running. That will be my birthday present to myself!


Randi said...

Some dude from SoCal totally died running the Philly marathon!

Gen said...

I feel the same way about my training walks for the 3day cancer walk. You'll enjoy running when it's fun and a break is just what you need!