Monday, February 23, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

First of all, I want to thank you all for the kind words on my last post. I'm so glad people enjoyed the story of my friendship with Jackie. Seriously, when I was writing it, I was thinking how no one would read it because it was way too long and had nothing to do with running, so I kind of wrote it for myself. But I'm glad you all did read and and could relate to it on some level. There is nothing better than great friends.

OK, One last picture I took of her and Jack while I was there, I love this one...


So, I spent so much time rambling about my goofy friend that I didn't even mention about how well my last few runs were.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I ran 16 with Jackie while in Sioux Falls. We met up with some of her running buddies early in the morning and it just so happened everyone was doing 16. The weather was great. 15 degrees with NO wind and lots of sun. A little chilly on the way back, but actually, pretty beautiful.

This run was great for a few reasons:

First, it was nice to run someplace completely new. I had no idea where we were or how far we had left, which was a huge help mentally.

Secondly, it was great running with different people, especially girls (Sorry J). And on Valentines Day too!

Third, it was the first time I had ever run that distance without doing walk breaks. A great accomplishment.

Finally, it was by far, the fastest I had ever run 16 miles. (2:23/8:55 pace). It was hard, but totally doable. I felt pretty good.

When I returned home, I eventually got my lazy butt outside a few days later and had another great run on my usual after work route (6.5 miles, 56:23/8:40 pace). My fasted time on that route.

Then this weekend, I had a decent 18 miler with Jeremy. (18.5 miles, 2:48:54/9:08 pace.

Pretty good, huh? I am definitely getting my pace down, which is nice and I am feeling comfortable on my long runs.

Which makes my little announcement here a little odd.

After much deliberation, I have decided to drop out of National Marathon and just do the half.

I know it sounds weird, and trust me, it was a very difficult decision. But I have been going back and forth with this for a few months and I finally made my decision on my 18 miler with Jeremy.

As we were running, Jeremy was feeling and looking great. I was feeling meh. Not bad physically, but mentally, I just haven't been in the game the past couple of months. And sadly, as I was running on Saturday, I just really felt like my heart wasn't in it.

I have been doing all my long runs and doing them well, but I am still having a hard time getting out during the week. My job has been crazy. I literally stare at a computer screen from 9-5 with no break so when I leave, I am a complete zombie. Then I take the train and walk home in the cold. By the time I walk in the door, I do not want to get back out there.

The nights I do go out for a run, it definitely helps me cope with work, but it still hasn't gotten me excited about this marathon. And lets face it, while I have been getting in the long runs, I have been completely lazy about everything else.I have not been cross training at all. I'm only getting in about three days a week of running if I'm lucky. I think my highest mileage for this training has been 34 miles. And while I feel good on the long runs, I never feel like I could keep going after I am done. Not a good sign.

But the real thing that got me seriously considering bowing out is my tendonitis. Since we have been training since July, it hasn't had a chance to properly heal. After every long run it flares up to the point where the nerves in my calf start to feel numb. Do I really want to injure myself for a marathon I am not really into? And not training properly is going to make it worse.

On the flip side, Jeremy is doing awesome! He has been getting in between 45-55 miles a week and been religious about getting in his lifting and abwork. When we were running together on Saturday I realized that this is finally his chance to get the sub-4 that has been eluding him for three years. And if he ran it with me, he would stick with my lazy, non-training ass and miss his chance.

Of course, I know that we could run it separately, I thought of that too. But then my ankle started hurting and I remembered why I should go with the half.

So there you have it. I've made up my mind. It was really hard and I still have a weird lump in my throat about it, but there will always be another marathon, maybe later in the spring. Or, I can just do some smaller races for a few months, let my ankle heal and get my mind back into it for the fall. Some things are just more important than a marathon. At least, that's what I keep having to tell myself...

Someone please, tell me I am not crazy. I need my running homies to make me feel better about this decision.


Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad at all! A marathon is hard enough to do. Doing it when you're not feeling 100% there, both physically and mentally is just not worth it. There will be other marathons out there when you are ready to hit another one.

Glad your runs have been going well!

BTW, if you need any info about the area, let me know on my blog or on facebook. I'm pretty sure I'm not running the half that weekend, but we'll be in town.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a good decision to me!! And you've got to be feeling good about running the half with the great runs that you've had recently. It's all about having fun and staying healthy in my book!

X-Country2 said...

Sounds like you made the right decision. Running races is too much time and effort to do something you're not looking forward to doing. You're going to rock that half for sure.

Julie D said...

If you were able to make that tough decision, then it was probably the right thing to do. Don't feel bad... you're making great progress in terms of your pacing!

Rookie on the Run said...

Great job on your successful runs! Don't feel bad about deciding to run the half... you're doing what's right for your health, body, and mind-set right now. You'll be able to concentrate giving your running best to the HM!

Jolene said...

I think you're making a very, very good decision.

1. You've already run a number of marathons with great times. You have already proven your dedication.

2. You are listening to your head, heart and body. That little voice is rarely ever wrong. If you push yourself, you may push yourself into not enjoying running anymore.

3. I can tell how much you love your husband, and it's SO sweet of you to think of this as his time to shine... This will free you up to photograph the hell out of him, surprise him on the course once you're finished, and be there at the finish line. How absolutely amazing to be able to do all of this for him!

4. Maybe now you can now run your best half ever since you've trained so well!

You look great. Your times are awesome. You are definitely doing the right thing!

SuperDave said...

I always love hearing about running, but it's nice to hear about "people."
I could only hope to run a half in the same time that you ran a 16 miler. Cool to be running with your best friend. It's funny how close you both were growing up and you both turned out to be runners. Now that I love!
If your heart's not in it then you are making a right choice.Heart and mind are as big of a apart as is physical. Just like you, I wonder if(when) I start training for a marathon if I'll have the time to actually train. I have trouble motivationally to get out for a simple 3 miler much less the 15-18 you have been doing.
BTW your running is really in a groove. Great job! Many more races to be, this yr!

joyRuN said...

You know you better than anyone else. You have very good reasons for switching to the half.

So no, you're not crazy. I don't think ;)

Anonymous said...

I think you made teh right decision. Your longs runs are great, but if your heart and mind aren't in the 26.2 it could be a disaster. Better to have a grat half and be excited for whatever race may come up than have a sucky marathon and want to throw in the towel.

Plus, you are right about taken some pressure off your body to heal.

Denise said...

Ugh, I'm having trouble leaving you a comment! This is my 3rd try so sorry if you get multiple comments.

I think you made the right decision about the race. It's not worth getting hurt and if you're mentally not into it, then you need to take a break. This is suppose to be fun, not a chore.

I run with Ambler Area Running Club (this is the club I belong to). Shawmont Running club (free) meets on Saturdays at Forbidden drive and do anywhere from 5-26 miles. Are you thinking of meeting up w/ them for a run?

Unknown said...

Sounds like you made the right choice. You have put a lot of thought into it and have decided to do what is best for you. I can really see where you are coming from if you don't really feel excited about the marathon.

Marcy said...

Ohhh chica I think it's def the right decision. If you're heart's not in it why bother, right? PLUS I can't wait to see you hit that sub 2!! DEF gonna happen. WHOOOOO HOOOOOO!!

Marlene said...

Congratulations on some sweet runs lately!

It sounds like you made the right decision. A lot of factors came into play and clearly you have given it a lot of thought. You'll have a more positive experience with the half at this point and hey, now you can watch for Jeremy at the finish line for his first sub-4:00!

Don't worry, there will be many more marathons. Sometimes it is just not the right time.

BeachRunner said...

When it comes to running, I belive in the following:
Staying healthy = priority one.
Having fun = priority two.

Note: You can't achieve priority two without first maintaining priority one.

All other running goals/priorities dont matter if you ignore one and two.

You made the right decision.

Heather said...

It sounds like you made the right decision - hopefully by taking it a little easier healing completely you will have a great experience at the half, which will renew your passion for running.

Those are some speedy long runs you have been doing!

Tall Girl Running said...

Gotta wholeheartedly agree with the others. It's a sound, wise and mature decision and one that will probably do you a whole lot of good, both physically and otherwise.

Plus... all that mileage under your belt combined with a healthy taper and you're primed for a strong half-marathon. I bet you pull off a sweet PR from it!

Good luck to both of you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your friend and her baby are just gorgeous! I can't believe how beautiful she is. And she looks like she's a great runner. I wonder if her baby sleeps through the night? Hahahahahahaha.

I think you are being super smart, Lory Pory. Take this year to basebuild and get your head in the game so that next year you can focus on a rockin' marathon. A year of easy running is just the ticket to get healthy and strong.

Love you.

Aron said...

i think you made exactly the right decision. a marathon isnt something you can go into with out your heart, its gotta be there. you are a very smart girl to listen to your body and give it that extra time to heal... that way you can be TOTALLY ready, mentally and physically for the next one. plus after your half then you can go see jeremy at the finish :) that will be awesome!

Run Mommy said...

Good for you! If you read my blog at all, you will see that I went through the same debate for several days (for many of the same reasons). I completely agree that you will have a better run just knowing that you will feel more confident. Excellent plan!

Runner Leana said...

It sounds like you definitely made the right decision, and I'm not just saying it because it is what you want to hear. Whether you are into a marathon or not, if you ankle is bugging you, then definitely, you don't want to injure yourself.

Just think about the smokin' fast half you'll be able to run instead!!

Unknown said...

You really discussed this with yourself and I feel you probably made the best decision. Congrats on the great runs recently though. You are running at a pace I want (and am training for) to run. Hopefully, by the end of the year I could run a virtual 16 miles and keep up with you. Then I'll set my sights on J.

That Pink Girl said...

Not crazy! Running a marathon is a little more than a long run and if your heart isn't in it right now, wait until the time is right. You'll be so glad you did! (plus, a half ain't so shabby)

N.D. said...

I think it is a goood move, esp if your heart isn't in it right now. The half is no less admirable!

Christie said...

Your reasons make sense. You're making the right decision. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Stuart said...

Sounds like a sensible choice, if your hearts not in it your body and brain won't be for sure!

Denise said...

Hey, I just found a comment from you buried in my inbox. I'm in Conshy right now, so I'm not far from Forbidden Drive at all. I'd love to meet up for a run, just let me know when works for you. I'm dedicating this Saturday to working out and having fun w/ it. All my workouts have been rushed because of all the house renovations so I told Andy I'm taking off on Saturday to just enjoy myself a little bit. Were you thinking of running with Shawmont any time soon??

Jess said...

I think it's a good, selfless decision.

P.O.M. said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I just can't get into training right now. I feel like I keep getting sick or smoething else sidelines me. I'm all about a fall marathon. Training over the summer and early fall is the best :) Good decision!

Unknown said...

Rest assured, you are not crazy. I like to believe I am the only one who is crazy. :-)

I'd thought you were actually racking up a lot of miles to get prepare for the marathon. I know that doing a marathon is not a walk in the park.

You have made an excellent decision. There will always be another time when you can do a full marathon. Let your mind, body and spirit dictate to what you are feeling. (Two thumbs up to you !)

Denise said...

Hey, I LOVE living in Conshy. It's the perfect location to EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, we just couldn't find a new place around there that we loved. So we're moving to the Ambler area. Do you know where Montgomeryville is? Ambler is just south or coming the other direction, just past Fort Washington.

Running w/ the club has been the best thing I've ever done for myself. It's so nice to always have this group of people to count on and they do so much for each other. It's nice to have such seasoned runners to go to for info, too. You should definitely join us!!

Dori said...

To thine own self be true. I was planning to run a Valentine's 10K, but dropped out at the last minute. My heart wasn't in it and I think that I was putting too much mileage in too soon. With this fast running you're doing, I think you're going to have an awesome PR for your half-m!

Sonia said...

Don'T stress it out Laurel! You said: "my heart wasn't in it" well then no questions asked that you made the right decision to go to the half.

Especially with the nagging injury, you do not want it to get chronic... I understand the lack of motivation to get out the door after a looking at a computer all day and a big commute. I feel exactly the same when I get home.

I find I need to get going as soon as I step in the door or it's not getting done. You'll rocky the half!! I'm thinking 1:50 or less is in the cards for ya!!

My Life said...

I SO hear you on this post. Running a marathon is rough and running it when you're not feeling it is so, so, so rough... I think you're doing a good thing by listening to your ankle and heart and mind. Let all those things heal and the right marathon will pop out at you when the time is right. (At least that's what I keep telling myself...).

Hang in there kid. And enjoy that Half!

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