I Quit Running (marathons) Kinda

After the LB Marathon I was very confused about where to take my running. Sure, I accomplished my big 2011 goal = sub 4 but I still walked hobbled away from the race with my confidence shaken. During the race I made deals with myself that included, “Keep running now and you will never have to do this again!”IMG_0372 (800x533)

Hey, that was a better deal than – “Just lay down right here so the ambulance can give you a ride home.”IMG_4791 (800x600)

I told myself I wouldn’t run another marathon for a very very long time (if ever). I struggled with getting faith in myself again, and wasn’t sure what to do. After the pain of the race wore off I wanted to do it again to prove something to myself, but I’m not sure what exactly. So, I signed up for the Surf City Marathon on emotion, not really thinking it out.

Now I want to quit. Kinda.

I had already signed up for the new Tinkerbelle Half Marathon on Jan 29th. I was super excited about that race until I remembered it’s the weekend before Surf City. Now I’m just worried it will tire my legs.image

Then, I won Runner’s Rambles contest for the LA Half Marathon on Jan. 15th. I had this weird feeling that I was going to win, but thought I’d let fate decide. Well, fate decided I should do it.image

And on my run this weekend I saw a sign for a local half marathon I always miss until I see runners in it as I’m doing my normal weekend run. I always say I’ll run it next year. I don’t want to miss running a race on my favorite course so close to my house. It’s Jan 7th a few days after I get back from FL.Race Calendar for Jan 2012

Now I have 3 half marathons and 1 full marathon in the next 45 days. I am very dumb. I don’t train for half marathons, so I’m not worried about that – but full marys (almost) kill me so I’m very worried about 26.2 miles!I’ve been struggling with figuring out how to train for the full while traveling for Christmas and training around the 3 half marathons.

Then, yesterday I read 2 articles about how running marathons can slow your times in other distances. So, I slept on it and decided:

1. I will train for the half marathons in January since they are my favorite distance and dominate my schedule. Since racing takes more out of me than usual runs I’m cutting back my running to 3-4 days a week depending on if it’s a race week.

2. I will incorporate a few long runs into my training so I will survive the marathon.

3. I will plan a 5k and 10k race for Feb/March/April to reinvigorate my hobby with something new.

Ultimately, I will run the full not fully prepared. But I was very prepared for Long Beach and it was still extremely hard for me. I think my body is not meant to do that distance? So, I’ll do Surf City to potentially end my marathon career where it started Smile  At least that’s my story for now.

I actually feel a huge relief with this decision because I was dreading the full and stressed about how the halfs would affect my training. Now that I realize I’m just looking to finish the full I can enjoy the half marathons. I’m happy with the decision – and since this whole thing is just a hobby that’s the point!

This morning I went to my last boot camp of the season!IMG_3735 (800x600)

Then, I came home and fell asleep again! I am not used to this early wake up call.

Finally it was time breakfast. French Toast seemed like a good idea, but it was just okay. I think I need to stick to my strengths – egg sandwiches and scrambles.IMG_3745 (800x600)

Question: Have you ever signed up for something and decided you didn’t want to do it afterall? Do you make yourself do it or bow out?


  1. says

    I signed up for the Big Sur 21 miler last year and didn’t run it. A mud slide washed out a huge part of the course and it ended up being an out and back- totally different from the original course. That and I wasn’t training right. I don’t regret it- it would have been a lot of money with traveling for something I wasn’t prepared for and didn’t want. So I “donated” $100+ to BSIM.

  2. says

    I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2010 became disenchanted with running and realized I just plain didn’t want to do it. I bowed out of the race and this year did it right and (sorta :) ) enjoyed training a lot more. I’m really glad I didn’t force myself to do it last year because, for me, that would have probably left me pretty sad about marathons in general.

  3. says

    Well the French Toast certainly LOOKS amazing!

    I am a classic sign-up-and-bail person. I bailed on a road race on Thanksgiving morning because I woke up and felt like spinning instead. I won free tickets to Conan O’Brien in NYC and bailed two months later because I just had too much on my plate that week and the thought of the travelling exhausted me. I have basically stopped signing up for things/agreeing to do things more than a few days in advance haha

  4. says

    I really admire you for all the running that you do, it’s quite motivating! I think like 6 miles in the most by body will do, I’m really not a natural runner. When I signed up for my first 10k, I was nervous but excited. That was my longest distance race. I would love to a half marathon but I dont know if my body would let me.

  5. says

    I’m signed up for two 5ks (one of which is an adventure/obstacle course race) in the same weekend and I thought that was bad enough. Or at least my husband thought so since he’s all “there goes our weekend…” haha. Enjoy yourself, and whatever will be will be, right?

  6. says

    I trained for the Napa Marathon last year and didn’t run it. I did up to 22 miles, and then because of a combo of having the flu forever and just not being into it, I flew to Napa, drank wine, and slept through the race.
    I think the best part about being fit and able is that one run or race decision doesn’t have to be the be all and end all. I am going on a 17 year love/hate relationship with running, and I always come back because I back off when I want to.

  7. says

    A resounding yes to that question, but I usually still do it with an adjusted goal (like you’re doing). I’ve learned that not every race needs to be about going fast – sometimes it can be about the experience. I’ve got some crazy running goals over the next 6 months, but my new approach to racing is to see how my body feels once we start – then decide whether it’s a fast day or experience day!

  8. says

    Maybe relaxing about the marathon and caring less about time goals and just running for fun will make you remember why you like running distance? Or maybe it will be your last marathon and you’ll get to focus on what you really like to do. Either way, enjoy your January of Races. Sounds fun to me! I love racing!

    FWIW, I ran my fastest 5k in 3 years the month after my 1st marathon. Your mileage may vary :)

  9. says

    I’ve ditched plenty of races, some ahead of time, some at the last minute. I run for fun, so if I’m not feeling something I just don’t do it. It helps that SoCal has SO MANY races that I will always have another one.

  10. says

    That is a LOT of racing. The fantastic thing about Disney, is you… don’t really HAVE to race it. You can just have fun and take pictures. Did I mention my last Disney race took THREE AND A HALF HOURS? Maybe do better than that. But it was the funnest race experience I’ve had.

    I’ll be cheering on the sidelines (in my robe, coffee in hand) on Jan 7th.

    And, finally, I registered for Race on the Base (managed by Run Racing) on 2/25… they have a 5K and a 10K. I think it was pretty cheap, too.

  11. says

    I have signed up for two marathons and one half-marathon and have never run any of them [due to chronic illness]… It’s my goal [and a dream of mine] to run distance races but I guess I need to get my health under control before I can start signing up for more- 5K and 10K’s are no problem…

  12. says

    I have yet to bail on a race… if I’m not feeling it that day, I’ll just use it as a training run, but I’ve ran sick, not feeling it, and even slightly injured (ran/walked slow enough not to aggravate it). That is a crazy January – good luck getting through all those races, and maybe take some time off after – I know if I don’t race for a month or two I’m rarin to go…

  13. says

    I have never signed up for a race and then regretted it, but then again I’ve only run one race that was longer than a 5k, so don’t go by me. I have signed up for other things,baked goods mostly, and totally regretted it afterwards. Well, everyone regretted it, so it’s not that shocking.

  14. says

    When I signed up for my first 5k, I was going to bow out, then I broke my toe, when a can of tomatoes (ok it was beer) fell and hit my toe just right.

    I had done the couch to half marathon this summer, and walked/ran it. I was thinking about signing up for a marathon a few weeks ago, but I was soooooo burnt out from the crazy training (12 weeks) for the half, that I still can’t make myself get on the dreadmill without reliving that nightmare.

  15. says

    Love the plan for the marathon. Sometimes, you just need a race that’s to prove something to yourself and not to the clock or to anyone else. If the half is your favorite distance, just focus on that and enjoy the marathon one last time!

  16. says

    The half in Irvine? I was thinking about it because it’s so cheap but then I realized that it’s only two weeks away. I think I’ll stick to the 5k :)

  17. Erin says

    well I don’t think anyone’s body is MEANT to do a marathon, hence the heart problems it can cause! (not saying marathons are bad, just if you overdo it).

  18. Ida says

    Why dont you just downgrade to the 1/2 for surf city? I signed up for a full a few years ago and downgraded when I was stressed about having to do a 20miler on new year’s eve.
    With all the races coming up it might be better to forgo the full and avoid burning yourself out mentally and/or physically.

  19. says

    I haven’t bailed on a race (yet) but have been sorely tempted to because I wasn’t excited about it–that’s the danger of doing races with other people. I thought I was bad with doing 3 races this month (5K, 10K, and half) and 18 total this year (8 half marathons and an assortment of shorter races)! Glad you came up with a plan that you are comfortable with; I’ll be doing my first full next year, but I doubt that I’ll be doing those too often. I’m just too slow!

  20. says

    Since I started running halfs in 2010 and just finished my first full, people have asked me to run with them in various local races. This spring I’m looking at three halfs and one full in 21 days, with another marathon the month prior. I absolutely want to do all of these races but recently it has been a quite large pill to swallow!

  21. says

    first of all i have to say i loved your vlog! super cute and really good advice in it too. on to this topic. i never sign up for races too far in advance because i am scared i will jinx myself-like get sick, put too much pressure on myself etc. so i do end up spending way more for races but at least for me i am sure i will do them. i am really thinking of doing the LA half………so glad you feel better about everything-good decision :)

  22. says

    For sure, and I try and make myself go through with it. I have only backed out of one race, a marathon, becuase I just could NOT get in the training. I am so baffled over my 2012 schedule though, I am envious you have your January all set. Must get to planning mine.

  23. says

    When I was in high school I tried out for the varsity volleyball team, made it, and then quit after the first practice. I realized the only reason I tried out was because I was on the VB team every year up until that point, and all of my friends were trying out. But I was bored with it. I quit and didn’t really miss it. I had so many other things that I did enjoy or were a better use of my time, I wanted to focus on that stuff (AP classes, dance team, soccer, band, mathletes … yes I enjoyed mathletes).

    Also after college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and considered going back for another degree. I signed up for a graphic design class and after a few weeks realized I was bored and that’s not what I wanted to do. Even though it was too late to for a refund, I withdrew from the class anyway. I was working full time and the class was a 30 minute drive each way. It wasn’t worth my time.

    However, I have a co-worker who won’t even give up reading a book that bores her. She will suffer through and force herself to finish. I can’t tall you how many books I’ve started and never finished. Why waste the time on something you don’t enjoy?

  24. Denise says

    My schedule started filling up like that recently too. Although I don’t have a full to worry about – just a bum knee that doesn’t want to let me run my new beloved half distance.

    I’m doing Tink, but luckily I have a church committment on the 15th so I didn’t enter the contest for 13.1 or sign up for RnR AZ. I’m trying to stick to 1 per month, but I would love to do Surf City or the Mermaid Half down in SD the following weekend but then I have the RnR Pasadena on 2/19. I think it is best for me to slow down and put a race off for another year rather than push my luck with my body.

    But oh man I wanted to do that Kaiser half on the 7th last year and I didn’t get to because of my knee. I’m still tempted…but I have a half on 12/26. Part of my problem is that my knee hurts during the run but in the days following my halfs I am barely sore at all so I think I can just run so soon after.

    But it sounds like you are fully aware of what you’ve gotten yourself into and you can make smart choices about pacing/resting enough to make it through your crazy next few months.

  25. says

    If I’m really not feeling something I let myself have an out. I don’t want to ever force myself to do something I’m truly against. But it’s definitely something to consider and not just make a rash decision about. It sounds like you’re taking the time to truly weigh the options, which is so smart!

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