Monday, February 13, 2012

Reality check

Today I emailed the contact people for the two marathons I'm registered for, asking if I could change my registration to the half marathon events instead. ::sad trombone::

This is the third time I've been sick enough to fall behind in training, and that's only since training began mid-December. Yikes! Next week's long run is supposed to be 17 miles--no way could I even manage half of that now. I could barely finish five miles on Saturday, and that was on my treadmill, stopping to walk/cough/breathe every mile. I know that pushing myself through another round of illness will only make it worse, and lengthen the time it takes me to get better.

I've also been realizing over the past month or so that whenever I read or hear about someone doing a shorter race, like a half or 10K, I'm actually jealous about it. Don't get me wrong, I *love* running, but I never intended for it to feel like a chore, something I dread doing because I HAVE to. My first two marathons went off without a hitch. I was excited about those, albeit nervous and uncertain, and had a great time at each one. BUT I also stuck to the training schedule really closely and knew I'd be ok even if there was a bad run here and there along the way. So far, halfway into this training round, my bad runs have been far outweighing the good ones. Some weeks, my mileage is barely half of what it should be. That may be partly due to the time of year I chose to train (winter in west Michigan isn't exactly balmy). Regardless, it's not a good place to be mentally or physically.

We've also been traveling with The H more these days, and finding time (and a place) to squeeze in a long run on weekends away from home isn't always easy. This time around I'd been trying to alter my schedule and get my longer runs done during the week, but even that hasn't been working so well--being sick doesn't wait for the weekends apparently.

One of the race directors replied already, saying I have until the day before the race to commit to switching. She suggested I wait it out until I'm completely sure I won't be able to manage the full distance; since there's no penalty in doing so, that's what I'm doing for now. Still waiting to hear from the other one. Admitting I may have bitten off more that I could chew isn't easy, but given my current state I think it's wise. I'd much rather run back-to-back half marathons with a chance of a PR (and a much lower stress level) than risk injury or the dreaded "DNF" in a longer race.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some cough syrup with codeine calling my name.


  1. I'd hate to be in that situation. Do you have any idea what is causing you to get so sick? Maybe there's something you can do to keep yourself healthier in the long run.

    I've found that I don't need to run super frequently to train for marathons. I'm in training for my 3rd official marathon, but I actually ran a marathon last weekend on my own. I run about 3 times a week + long run and my 3 weekly runs are really no longer than 4 miles.

    Sometimes the schedule wears you down. YOu know what you're doing when you're training so maybe you can come up with something more customized based on how you feel next time.

    It is okay to bow out of the 26.2 - life gets in the way! Good luck with your dsecision

    1. I have a weakened immune system to begin with; looks like luck was not on my side this cold/flu season. :(

  2. Is it possible being sick is related to over training, or training too much while sick? Regardless it blows and I hope you feel better soon.
    I took a long time off when running got to be a chore and am just starting to come back.

    1. Probably both, ha. :) Good luck in your comeback!

  3. Hey Kate! Glad to hear that you are balancing running, living, and enjoying! Running two halfs is just as awesome as two full marathons. Go for it and don't apologize!