I’m finally making a smart (in my opinion), but tough decision. It’s about time.
If you can recall: my last post was about how, although it turned out for the best, I made a pretty risky decision in regards to the New York City Marathon last year. I’m still feeling the after-effects of said decision.
And now, I find myself in a fairly similar situation.
I’m signed up to run the Philadelphia marathon in one month. 28 days if you’re counting.
So far, I’ve been fairly easygoing about this marathon. I don’t think it’s ever hit me. I read about running and marathons and all of you kicking butt every day, that I think my brain has gotten a little forgetful about what a marathon entails. Not to mention, my work schedule has crushed my training schedule. Or more so, my commuting schedule has crushed my training schedule. I’ve barely been getting two runs in a week.
I’m not confident my body is ready for 26.2 miles of pounding. I’m not there yet.
I have not once felt fully ready for a marathon.
Although I still feel big hints of guilt, sadness, and a little bit of failure, I’m not going to run the Philadelphia Marathon.
If they’ll let me, I will run the half. (Please, Philly, let me!)
I came to this decision while running 14 miles with my good friend Lauren on Saturday. She reminded me that I can still run a killer half marathon. It’s not too late, right? As we continued along on the perfect Fall morning, I remembered how far I’ve come since I ran my first half marathon with her…how many things have changed and how I’ve evolved as a runner. Would running a marathon I wasn’t prepared for “just cause” make me better? Stronger? Would NOT running it do me any good? Am I just a wimp? It’s certainly not a decision made due to lack of motivation or laziness. So why do I still feel so lousy?
I needed to make my final decision on Saturday. It was either stop at the 14 miles Lauren needed to run in preparation for Las Vegas in December, or continue on for my scheduled 18 miles. Although I felt pretty good, I knew deep down what the right choice was. I’ve been here before. I’ve taken the other path. I know how this story goes. Yeah, I’m sure I could finish a marathon. I may have survived without a scratch. But is THIS type of uncertainty worth it?
I’ve created a hopefully PR-worthy half marathon training plan for the next four weeks. I’m putting my nose to the grindstone and plan to make the most of these 28 days – since I don’t need as much of a taper, I’m hoping a few extra speedwork and tempo sessions will give me the boost I need to crush a half marathon. I’ve never run 13.1 in under two hours; Brooklyn in May was 2:03…so, sub-2 is the name of the game. I will give Philly a run for it’s money.
I know I made the right decision and I know I shouldn’t feel guilty…but I do. I want to run this marathon. I want another 26.2 finish under my belt before Ironman. But as I’ve learned a lot in my life, wanting something isn’t enough. It’s true with finances and with running and with life. You need to take everything into account. You need to review the details. You need to save up. You need to have the money in your bank account. Right Dad?
So here I am, acting on an educated decision instead of riding along on my emotions. Sometimes, you truly need to listen to your head instead of your heart.
Who is this girl?