The Marathon is not for me. Ever since January 14, I’ve watched my Facebook feed fill up with my friends’ posts about signing up for the 2019 Chevron Houston Marathon. It’s a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, I’m so proud of them for taking on this challenge. On the other, I have a little bit of FOMO.
My first and only training marathon attempt ended abruptly with a sprained ankle. By race day, I knew 26.2 was not happening. I ran the half marathon instead, and I regret nothing about that day. But now I’m healthy and healed. I crushed the Aramco Houston Half Marathon this year. I see my Facebook friends posting that they’ve registered, and now what?
I need to remember that the marathon is not for me. I run a good half marathon, and here’s why I’m not Running a full marathon in the foreseeable future.
- Marathon training beat up my body. All the running left me feeling exhausted and irritable. I struggled with nutrition. I lost muscle mass. Fatigue became the new normal. I ached all over. Even before my big left ankle sprain, my right ankle started hurting for no reason.
- It took over my life. My Saturdays and weekend plans were dominated by my runs.
- I started to hate running. Like, really hate it. I dreaded lacing up my running shoes, even for short runs. I did everything I could to avoid running. I ran my long runs, but slowly, gritting my teeth. On my 21-miler, I bawled like a baby for the last three miles. I really hated running that day.
- I have different goals now. This is probably the biggest reason for me right now. Ever since I made that turn at Mile 8, my goals shifted. I no longer want to run a BQ marathon. (I doubt I even could, given how much I hated training for a regular marathon). I no longer want to spend my Saturday mornings pushing through the last three miles in tears after eating Bonk Breakers. Instead, I want to run a decent half marathon (1:45-1:50). I want to run a sub-50 10K. I want to clean and jerk my body weight, do kipping handstand pushups, and finally string together double unders.
Number 4 puts it all in perspective for me. The marathon is not for me because it will take away from those goals. I applaud anyone who runs a marathon. That’s an amazing achievement.
But it’s just not for me, and I’m okay with that.
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