No one said the right decisions were always going to be the easy decisions. In fact, I’m pretty sure they are usually some of the hardest.
They become even harder when our egos get involved. When friends and a million opinions get involved.
And even more so, when our hearts are involved.
Not only do I remember the days of gym class and the dreaded mile run, but I remember when I first started running and how I gradually built up my distance from walking & running intervals to a mile unbroken, to two, then three and just last year, 13.1…a half marathon.
As I finished that run, my hips hurting and my exhaustion high, I wasn’t sure I’d ever run another half marathon, let alone consider a full. But as to be expected and once the post-run high really set in, I not only ran a second but I also ran a third which was a huge PR.
When I was picked for the lottery for the Chicago Marathon, I took that as a sign. I took that to mean I was ready and that I could finally cross off this bucket list item that at one point, I was pretty sure was never possible. And honestly, I do believe I’m physically ready (read: capable with the proper training) but unfortunately, I’m not mentally ready.
I’ve been hinting for the last few weeks that I’ve been pretty stressed and that I’ve had a lot on my mind. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some photos from the trail depicting some harder moments.
But the truth is, I haven’t been able to get past 2 miles of my long runs for the last 3 weeks. I made myself sick trying to handle some of the stress and pressure I was putting on myself and used that as an excuse. I ran 4 miles last Thursday that was the best, easiest and longest run I’ve had in weeks. I was hopeful that I was on the upswing and making my recovery. I skipped out on a show Saturday night to get plenty of sleep and woke up Sunday morning ready and excited for my 15 mile run (yes, excited). I told myself I was doing three 5-mile runs and that I could rest after each 5 miler. I grabbed all my gear, fueled up and hit the trail running. I felt good for a mere few minutes and before I could even hit 2 miles I was stopped and in tears. I pulled myself together and took off again for another ¼ mile until I saw a bench, sat down and started crying.
I was facing the reality of the situation and it hurt. After a few minutes, I decided just to run back to my car but once again after another ¼ mile, I was stopped and in tears. I sat myself down on the side of the trail and tried to just take a few minutes to breathe.
Running is a mental game. In fact, I’m sure most runners will tell you that it’s just as mental as it is physical and both pieces must be in place for success.
The mental piece isn’t in place for me right now. The mental pressure of training to run 26.2 miles is too much with everything else that’s going on. I have to take something off my plate; I have to ease my mind; I have to look out for myself.
And unfortunately that means I’m deferring my entry into the Chicago Marathon.
I’ll be totally honest, I’m heartbroken. It was not an easy decision to come to and it took a lot of back and forth for me to finally come to this decision. I’ve had a lot of people tell me “you can do it! I believe in you!” and while I love the support and while yes, I can physically do it (and do plan/hope to someday!), the mental puzzle piece isn’t in place and if I don’t cut myself some slack it’s going to affect my health. It’s not an easy decision but for right now it’s the right decision.
I’m out the entry costs for the marathon (bummer!) and while I’ll have to pay again next year (double bummer!), I won’t have to enter the lottery if I decide I’m in a better place to train.
The marathon weight has been lifted off my shoulders and while my ego may be struggling, I know that once I get past the initial hurt, I’ll be able to pick it off the floor, dust it off and carry on.
Have you had to make any tough decisions lately?
Joining in for Thinking Out Loud.
Oh girl I know this is hard! I backed out of a couple of half-marathons due to possible injury but I can’t even imagine how you must feel having been drawn in the lottery…gah. It’s nice to say you’ve crossed certain things off your bucket list, but if it’s costing your sanity and/or health…what’s the point??
You are doing this for you! Not for anyone else! Remember that!! <3
PS I don't think I've run more than a mile recently (maybe if you count my fun runs, but not really) so we can take the mud run slow slash have a ton of fun!!! 🙂 🙂 Excited to see you!!
You may not think you are in the right place mentally to run that marathon (and I trust that you know you well enough to know you are right) but the decision you made and the realization you came to also took a whole lot of mental strength. Good for you, girl!!
I’m proud of you. I wish I had made that decision 6 years ago but I wasn’t mature enough to do it, and I’m still dealing with the repercussions of an overuse injury.
Thanks, girl! 🙂
I’ve been where you are right now and I know exactly what you’re going through.
Stress is brutal, and when life throws you a giant shit sandwich, sometimes you just need to put everything else down and deal with it.
Sporting goals are a luxury and they’re great when life is running along tick-a-dee-boo, but when it doesn’t, they have to take a back seat.
Just be kind to yourself right now. Do more yoga and less running, but keep moving so your body can release tension.
Sorry you’re going through this, but congrats on making the right choice.
Stress totally sucks but the good thing is, I’m crawling out of my shit sandwich…(p.s. totally love that terminology!! haha!)
Tough decisions are usually the best ones in life. You know you did the right thing! I’m sure you felt a huge weight off your shoulders when you decided to step back.
Thanks! 🙂 And yes, it was like bricks went flying!
Sometimes the toughest decisions end up being the best ones. Sorry to see you’re going through this, but you’ll be fine. 🙂
Oh hun, I’m so sorry <3 I know it hurts right now, but I honestly believe that you made the right decision. The beautiful thing is that this is by -no- means your only shot at running a marathon. There will always be more races to run in the future, and it's better to go into them with a good mindset than push yourself way past your breaking point and either end up injured or miserable. You did good, girl 🙂
Thanks, girlie!! <3
I saw your blog in the Thinking out Loud link up and I just had to click it because I LOVE the title of this blog 🙂
I’m so sorry you can’t run your marathon. I’m running my 1st marathon this fall too, and I would be devastated if I could no longer do it. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing though. It may not feel like it right now, but I bet you’ll thank yourself for it later. Think of all the positives that come from the decision, though: you don’t have to do 20 mile runs on Saturdays, you can free up more of your schedule for other stuff, and maybe you can even fit more smaller races into your schedule this fall! Hope everything works out for you 🙂
It sounds like you’re doing the right thing for you! I remember selling my half marathon entry – it was something I always wanted to do, but my body and mind weren’t ready for it. It sucked, but deep down there was relief. Can’t wait to hear more about your cross fit adventures!
You are doing the right thing for you, Katie! Don’t be too hard on yourself – next year or the year after or the year after that, whenever you’re ready will be the right time for you! xo
Don’t let it get to you girl! I compeltely understand, running a marathon is a HUGE commitment. Luckly, when I did my first I just moved to a new city where I knew noone and had all the time in the world to train. It took me 18 weeks. 18 whole weeks of non-stop training, running, lifting, eating, stressing, sleeping. It was a big toll on my body thats for sure. I still think crossing the finish line was the biggest accomplishment and best feeling I have ever experienced, but I did miss out on a lot of different aspects on my life. Now, mentally training for another marathon (second one in april 2015), is daughting to me. I can’t even run 7 miles without my body begging me to stop. Trust me, you know when your body is ready when mentally you can push through it. Don’t force it, you’ll do it one day! I am proud of you for making that HUGE decision.
It can be so hard to realize what’s best in situations like this when we put pressure on ourselves. Good for you for having the intuition and insight to realize that your health is number one. I still struggle with this sometimes.
I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
Sorry to hear this and I’m sure you’ll be ready to crush Chicago next year. I’ve been struggling with some mental things too lately. Even if something really is “just in our heads” it doesn’t make it less real than a physical injury. Enjoy your break and recovery while you destress.