Home » Bad Days » You Don’t Make Decisions Because They Are Easy, You Make Them Because They Are Right

You Don’t Make Decisions Because They Are Easy, You Make Them Because They Are Right

I have been thinking about this post for almost two weeks now.  I kept thinking over the last few days about how to write this post.  Each attempt ended up deleted because I couldn’t seem to get my thoughts together.  I almost just didn’t write about it at all but knew eventually I would have to, and also, I feel like it needs to be documented here in some capacity as part of the journey. 

I could write a whole big lead up to it, but I am not going to do that. I am just going to write it. 

:taking deep breaths:

I am not running in the Philadelphia Marathon.

Before you read on, please understand that this was one of the most difficult decision I have made in a long time.  I feel like I have failed myself and all those who are rooting for me.  I am disappointed (not so much in myself, just in general) and sad.  However, like my title states: I did not make this decision because it was easy, I made it because it was right.   The only thing that makes this okay for me is the knowledge that, for me at this time, this is the right decision.  But even knowing it is the right decision doesn’t make it any easier.

For those of you who have been following this journey, I feel in some way I owe it to you (as readers and friends) to tell you how I came to this decision.  So here goes:

*Back in the summer when I signed up for this race, I truly in my heart thought I would be ready.  In fact, I had zero doubts about signing up.  I had a schedule, I was feeling great and I was ready to go.  Over the summer, things progressed nicely; I was getting in all my alloted mileage, running well (remember the sub-30!!!) and feeling really good about running a marathon in November.  It never once occurred to me over the summer that I would not be running in the marathon.  I could picture myself running the 26.2 and crossing the line.

*Then September came.  And with September comes craziness.  And I expected this because it happens every September.  Every September the kids come back to school, my classes begin and life goes a little haywire.  I knew all of this when I signed up for the race.  The first week of September was great- I was on vaca, getting in runs on the beach and relaxing for hours a day.  But when reality hit, it came back with a vengeance and I was not ready!   

*My job, which I write very little about, has been extremely stressful.  Working in a school comes with stress, but this year is a whole different beast.  There are many different variables that contribute to this, none of which I am going to divulge on this blog, but it has been a really tough year already. 

*At Rutgers, I am currently carrying the heaviest work-load I have ever had.  While the classes themselves are enjoyable, the amount of work is exhausting.  For my one class, I have a 500-word (approx 2 pages) blog entry due each week in addition to reading and commenting three classmates blogs a week with a thoughtful response to their postings.   Also for that class, a weekly reading and weekly project.  In my other class I have a weekly reader-response paper due in addition to a ridiculous amount of reading and various other papers spread over the semester.  (Be honest, you are exhausted just reading that!) 

*Before I ran PDR two weeks ago, I hadn’t ran in days.  I knew I wasn’t a 100% prepared to run but because my mileage in general was so high, I ran anyway.  And I did okay.  But I didn’t have a great race.  While I was running that day, I started thinking about the marathon.  I started to question if I was really going to be ready.  And more than that, I had to wonder if my body would hold up.  I had quite a bit of knee pain, a little foot pain and honestly, I could not have run another mile that day.  It was all I could do to get through the 13.1.  I knew then, that it was time to seriously give thought to dropping out of the marathon.  

*Last week, with the race over and some time to think, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things that plauging me as far as the marathon was concerned.  Three things stuck out the most: I am stressed out to the max, I have only been running approx 10-15miles a week and I am afraid that running unprepared would put a stress on my body that could lead to an injury.  So, I made the decision I knew was right. 

And there you have it.

Yesterday, I emailed the people at Philly Marathon and asked to be dropped to the half.  So it is official. 

Until now, the only people who I told are my mom and two of my friends.  I am not too proud to admit that I am a bit embarrassed…my pride is definitely hurt.  I am an overachiever and I do not like the feeling of giving up.  But again, and not to beat a dead horse, I do know it was the right decision. 

I believe that one day I will cross the finish line at a marathon, but right now is not my time.        

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20 thoughts on “You Don’t Make Decisions Because They Are Easy, You Make Them Because They Are Right

  1. Girl you’ve gotta do what’s best for you and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. There will always be another marathon to train for… take it easy on yourself!

  2. Sounds like you made the SMART decision. It’s better to do what’s RIGHT for you than to stress out, end up sick, or end up injured. I have no doubt that it was a tough decision to make…but your time will come. 🙂

  3. Oh sweety: don’t be embarrassed. Look what you’ve achieved already and reading your blog for a while now I’m sure there will be a day when you run that marathon.

    There are more people who decided not to run a marathon for less reasons than you have.

    You thought long and hard about it and after reading it I believe you made the right decision.

    Big hug for you!

  4. It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re not ready for something and to make the tough decision that is best for you mentally and physically. You could have done a lot of damage to your body if you tried to run 26.2 miles without the proper training.

    Now you can focus on the half marathon and setting a new PR! You want to enjoy life, not feel weighed down by self-imposed obligations.

  5. But you are still running the half! That’s not dropping out. That’s assessing what’s going on in your life right now and doing what’s manageable. And that’s a smart move. You only just ran your first half recently. To be ready for a race twice as long in a couple of months would require really intense training. Unfortunately, we have to work, and that’s not always easy either.
    Enjoy the half! This way, racing stays fun and doesn’t become just one more thing that you HAVE to do.
    I’m super proud of you and inspired by you.

  6. Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl, it’s OKAY! Don’t feel bad at all! You certainly are not letting any one of us down. You have such an insane work load, I can’t even imagine. This semester, I’m taking two classes, as opposed to one, like I usually do, in addition to the full-time job – and I’m feeling it!!!!! It’s just two classes!!!! And you’ve got SO MUCH MORE, so it’s okay! You need to finish school, and then it’ll be easier than anything else in this world!

  7. You really have to do what is right for you. I think you made a wise decision, not being mentally ready for a race can really hurt. Hope things start to go much better at school.

  8. You have no reason to be embarrassed! You are the smart one here. There aren’t alot of runners who will admit they just aren’t ready for a race due to life’s obstacles. And, they do get hurt or burn out. I know it must have been a terribly tough decision to make, but there will be so many other opportunities to reach your running goals! Please don’t let this discourage you. The fact that you listened to your heart, mind and body already makes you a smarter, better runner. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Another 13.1 Coming Up! « Finishing is Winning

  10. First of all, you did NOT drop out! You are still doing a half marathon… don’t diminish that intention.

    Second, you’ve only done two half marathons. Get a few more under your belt and get comfortable with that distance. Then do the full marathon when you need to challenge yourself further.

    Third, it’s smart to consider further injury. I know you… you tend to have tunnel vision when you really want something so I’m very happy that you are seriously considering your health in this situation.

    Finally (I promise!)… I’m remembering back to your grade school track and field days when you worked so hard yet never placed. There were kids in your school who would pretend to stay home sick or come to school faking an injury because they knew they couldn’t win. YOU never did that! You just showed up year after year and gave it your all. You face every challenge head-on whether thrown at you or invented by you.

    I’ll be there cheering you on (and if it’s as cold as last year, I’LL be the one grateful that you decided not to do the full!).

    Be as proud of yourself as your mom is…

  11. Mom,

    You really do always know what to say! You have been putting band-aids on my heart for as long as I can remember.

    Thank you for being my biggest fan ❤

  12. The tougest decisions are agonizing as you are making them, but feel the most peaceful once you are done. I think about this in the midst of canceling my marathon on Sunday and like the title of your post says, the decision wasn’t easy, but it was right.

    Chin up…you will be ready some day and it will be the best feeling in the world when you are.

  13. You’re right about making decisions that are “right” being tough… I’ve spent the whole year feeling disappointed that I haven’t redeemed myself from my DNF at Phoenix in January by covering the marathon distance again. Logically I know my friends, family, blog friends don’t DEMAND that I run the race, but I know all too well that sad, disappointment feeling. But it takes guts to step up and make the right decision even when it is hard. For that, I applaud you!

  14. Life gets in the way…and you have to do what is best for your heart, and your body. STRESS is not good and would cause issues that running the Marathon would not make better. Your time WILL come and everyone will be there with HIGH FIVES and HUGS when it does happen..

  15. Just now seeing this — but good for you for being wise enough to make the right decision! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You have accomplished SO MUCH in the 2 short years you have been a runner, and SO MUCH MORE just this year alone! You have been a great inspiration to me during my first year as a runner, and I don’t think I would have even CONSIDERED running a Half if I didn’t see that you had already been so successful with your first one this year. Keep training for the Half, and take care of those knees! (and I will try to take care of my shins – they have been a little pissed at me lately!)

  16. you totally made the right decision girl… you WILL cross that marathon finish line in time, i have no doubt, but i think you want to go into it being the best prepared you can be, at least thats the drift i get from you 🙂 there will be lots of marathons out there and for now go rock that half because that is a HUGE accomplishment in itself 🙂

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