Marathon Drop Out

Back in March, I registered for my first marathon. I figured I would get one done and out of the way and never have to think about it again. After my half marathon in May, I started training by doing long runs on weekends; which lasted all of three weekends.

Last week, I changed my registration from the full marathon down to the half marathon for Women Rock MN. It was a difficult decision to make; mostly I didn’t want to disappoint the people I had told about my marathon training. I didn’t want to give up on something that I feel I should be able to accomplish. I didn’t want to be seen as a quitter.

When I registered for the marathon, I don’t think I realistically knew how much time training was going to involve during the already-busy summer I had planned. I knew long runs would take a few hours, but I didn’t think about the naps that my body would tell me it needed after a run like that and how I would be in pain for a few days following a long run; all to recover and do it again a few days later. I also didn’t realize that I would shy away from other activities because I didn’t want to be too sore to run or risk injuring myself and having to drop out of the marathon.

After several weeks of thought on the subject and one deep conversation with Nate, I decided to drop out of the marathon. My biggest deciding factor was that I figured it wasn’t a good thing when my fiancé told me I was being lame; that I didn’t want to do anything anymore and that running was consuming entirely too much time that should be dedicated to our road trip and hiking adventures. Some people may try to say that he’s being selfish, but in reality, I was missing the activities that brought us together in the first place; running was starting to interfere with my relationship and that’s selfish on my part.

I always told myself that I would quit running, or at least pull back, when it wasn’t fun anymore. Long runs were making me HATE running and I don’t want to be that person. I want running to remain one of the many hobbies I have that supports a healthier, more active lifestyle. Plus, I love my running clothes!

Upon completing my race change form and placing it in the mail, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me. To be honest, I don’t know that I’ll ever register for another marathon; I think I can be content being a runner who never completes a marathon. After this year, I may never even do another half marathon because my body feels best at distances up to 10 miles. But, I don’t have to think about that right now.

Since changing my race distance, Nate and I had our first hiking adventure in ages. We took Kiddo hiking at Whitewater State Park and did the stairs at John Latsch State Park and it was awesome! I had forgotten how much I loved spending a day hiking and that’s something I don’t want to forget again.

I’ll still be running at least once a week with my Thursday group, but right now I can’t say whether I’ll ever get back to running more often than that and for right now, I’m not going to push it. I’m going to focus on doing the things that give me true joy, like hiking and riding my bike with Nate and Kiddo.


View from the bluff at John Latsch State Park





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2 Responses to Marathon Drop Out

  1. Every once in a while, I think I want to run a marathon, just so I can brag about it. Then I remember how I feel at the end of running 5k & think, “Want to do that x8?” No. Thank. You.
    And I also love your blog’s tagline 🙂

  2. Abby says:

    I’m not a runner, but I have been an athlete and am friends with quite a few runners/marathoners myself. That distance isn’t for everyone. Many of them fall in love with marathons but others do one to say they’ve done it and never want to do it again, actually preferring the half or 10K. Between the time it takes to get in those long runs, sleep, recover, etc. they had no time to actually live and do “normal” things. While that’s not a big deal for some people, for others it’s much too consuming–physically and mentally–for the runner and for their family/friends.

    With something that big, your heart has to be there. I think it’s great you decided on your own, without any outside influence, and that you’re at peace with not doing a full. Who cares? If you like running, run. If you don’t, don’t. Stay active, stay balanced, stay healthy, stay happy. 🙂

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