Philly On My Mind

I’m finally making a smart (in my opinion), but tough decision. It’s about time.

Well, at least we know I’ve made ONE other smart decision. I mean, I graduated, right?

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.

These after-effects involve ice. And I do not like being cold.

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.

I think I felt more ready for my first 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.

Throwback! UNHAPPY KARA.


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?


I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. October 21, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    I don’t think you’ve made a bad decision at all. You know your body and what you can do and what you’re capable of better than any “plan” or “coach” or whoever makes the rules about changing races. I loved my half marathon last Saturday, it was so fun with very manageable training (25-30 miles a week with a little x-training), taper (few days off, that’s it), and recovery (few days off, foam rolling, lots of yoga. that’s it). Marathon… you really bust your butt training and I guess it’s a good experience, but you’ve already done some so no shame in shooting to PR a half.

    I was in philly when the marathon was being run in 2005… on a college trip. it was so incredible and I wasn’t even a runner then.

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:34 am

      I love that you said this: “You know your body and what you can do and what you’re capable of better than any ‘plan’ or ‘coach'”

      So true…it sounds cliche but listening to your body is so key! And we shouldn’t always let others influence us when we know ourselves best..sometimes we need pushing, other times we need rest…I guess the secret is knowing what’s “right”!

  2. October 21, 2012 / 6:08 pm

    I’m so proud of you for making a smart, yet tough, decision! It isn’t worth pushing your body through a full marathon if you don’t think it’s been properly trained and risk injury. There is nothing worse than injury. Crush the half and then set your sights on the Ironman, which I KNOW you will dominate :) Go get ’em girl!!!!!

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:36 am

      Thank you so much! You’re so sweet :) I appreciate you having so much faith in me!

  3. October 21, 2012 / 7:33 pm

    i think you are being so smart for doing this, so smart. why get injured on one race and put you out for what could be a long time instead of just continuing the recovery running. i think listening to your body is a huge part about injuries, it reteaches you to listen to your body. way to go!

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:38 am

      Thanks so much, Alex!

  4. October 21, 2012 / 8:18 pm

    I understand the difficulty of having to forego a race you’ve already registered for, but you made the right decision! It’s better to let that race go than to hurt yourself and not be able to train for your real goal – Ironman :) And you’re gonna rock that half!!

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:41 am

      Exactly-why is the fact that I entered some information online making me feel so guilty? Haha! Oh well…gotta be in tip top shape for Ironman right?! That’s the most important thing for me!

  5. October 21, 2012 / 11:38 pm

    such a smart lady you are! it’s all about doing what is best for you right now and if running a KICK ASS HALF instead of full is it- so be it! you’re going to do awesome :)

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:42 am

      Right! As long as I give my race (although shorter) my all, I’ll be happy :) thanks Katie!

  6. October 22, 2012 / 11:07 am

    Knowing where to stop is a part of running, and it might be hard, but I thing you did the right decision!

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:42 am

      Thanks Nina!!

  7. October 24, 2012 / 12:29 am

    Genius choice. Seriously!