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.