Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Know when to hold them, know when to fold them

There is something that I have been struggling with for awhile now. I wasn't sure whether to make it public, or even whether to talk about it with my close family or friends. When I am struggling with something, my natural instinct is not to tell anyone. I don't like to admit any sort of weakness. So I retreat inward and try to deal with it alone.

Hyped up on post Antarctica bliss, I set a goal that wasn't right
 I am considering giving up on my goal of running a marathon on all 7 continents and instead just trying to run a half. I am determined and driven and I hate not meeting a goal that I set, especially one that I made so publicly.

 Why? Mostly because I have realized that the joy has gone out of running marathons for me. I feel far more dread than excitement when I think about marathon training and the race itself. I start worrying about my long run days in advance and just want it to be over. There are so many things in life that we just have to do even though we don't necessarily enjoy them, why should I add to that list. This is my free time, shouldn't I be doing what I enjoy? I feel like marathon training is taking up all my time and I am missing out on other things that I enjoy. I feel like I am at the point where I am doing this because I told people I would, not because I want to.
Not a happy runner girl

Running a marathon on every continent was supposed to be a unique way to see the world. Instead, I feel like I am so micro-focused on getting my continents done that I am not enjoying the experience. If I am only in a country for 4-5 days and one of those is spent running the marathon, it doesn't leave a lot of time to see the country. I don't want to do too much new or exerting in the days before the race and and I physically can't do much after the race. So yes I may have run a marathon but I missed out on long meandering walks, bike rides, hikes, nights out dancing, exotic street foods, and local alcohol. I like to live like a local when I travel and I can't do that if I am holed up preparing for or recovering from a race.

I've also had to admit that physically, marathoning is not right for my body. I already pounded it hard during my many years as a gymnast. After long runs I ache for days. Even using a conservative training plan, I still always get hurt. Marathon training doesn't match up with how I like to live. I like to do something active every day. I don't like the soreness and fatigue I feel for days after a long run. I don't like feeling crappy for a month after a marathon.

I didn't sleep well for almost a year because I had to sleep in this stupid boot for my plantar fasciitis

I am honestly not sure where I am going with this, or how to end this post. I haven't decided for sure, but I wanted to share this struggle with you. I still feel like a failure for giving up on my original goal, but on the other hand I feel such a sense of relief at the idea of changing my goal that it feels like it must be the right decision.

Am I giving up too easily? Have you ever had to revise a major life goal?

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh, you are not giving up AT ALL! Marathons are tough business! That is why I meant to take last year off, and probably this year too. I don't want to commit to all those miles! And you bring up such a good point - if you can only be there for 4-5 days, is that really what you want your experience to be? Especially if your body is not reacting well and you don't love it? There is nothing wrong with racing shorter, at all! And besides, you are young, so you can come back when you are older if you decide you want to try a marathon again!