After Wobegon I was ecstatic. I had qualified for Boston which meant two things, I achieved a running goal I never thought possible back when I was struggling to run a sub-5 hour marathon, and I had a summer free of required training! Though I was already registered for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon which is the first week in November. With a pretty comfortable cushion under my qualifying time, I decided I’d switch to the half. Even doing that I wouldn’t really have to start training until later summer/early fall. But then I seemed to lose my marbles.
Somewhere along the line, I started doubting whether my 5:32 cushion under my qualifying time was going to be enough to get me in. I starting thinking, oh shit, I need to start training for the full even if I do get into Boston. After all, registration isn’t until September and if I fail to gain entry, I’d be so behind in training for a full, I’d hate myself come race day. So I started training for a full as if I was going to run it in November. I even ran a 16 miler with my BRF.
I put on a good front while on those long runs but the truth is, I was feeling burnt out. I was putting off my weekday runs as long as I could and often cutting them short or opting out of my tempos or intervals in favor of a ladder or just a nice easy run. I wasn’t sleeping well, was irritable, getting achy and sore, and other that loving the company, I dreaded the long run. Nothing about my running felt good, easy or satisfying. Deep down I knew that even if I don’t get into Boston (which I’m sure I will), there is no way I WANT to run a full in November. So why was I forcing myself to training as if I was? It was putting me in a funk that may be the worst running downer I’ve ever had.
So last week I decided to make a change. I had to re-examine my motivations. First was not getting into Boston leaving me with no spring full on my calendar. I will get into Boston when I register on the 16th. I get to register the first week and I don’t think the minutes under qualifying times are going to double. Second was feeling like I had to do a fall marathon. When did I start feeling like I needed to do two marathons a year? That’s just silly. Since we moved to Minnesota just over two years ago I’ve done four marathons. FOUR. While that’s not a lot to some, that’s a lot to me. I just needed to give myself permission not to feel like I have to do two a year.
Starting this week I’m starting my new training plan, for the half that I’m going to run. No more extraneous long runs or 10+ mile tempos. It’s unnecessary and was making me unhappy. And after Boston…I think I’ll take a break from marathoning all together, at least for a little while.