Why I decided not to run a marathon in 2014

I’ve been a little ashamed to admit that I’m not running a marathon this year. I’ve run a marathon each year since 2012. Okay, that’s only two, but the time spent training makes it feel longer. I was supposed to have run my third marathon in October in Chicago. But, after 6 months of a chronic tonsil infection, that was not possible. It’s the first race I’ve ever signed up for that I didn’t run. It’s the first marathon I trained for that I couldn’t complete. And it sucked.

It was mentally tough to have gone through all those double digit long runs and have nothing to show for it. I’m not a natural runner by any stretch of the imagination. It’s hard for me and I’m slow. I like to have goals and to meet those goals. I love getting the medal at the end to say, YES! You did it! Not even showing up for Chicago did a number on me mentally.

Since my surgery, I’ve taken a MUCH longer hiatus than I expected. I lost my motivation and desire to go for runs and quite frankly had lost a lot of my muscle, fitness, and strength. I also realized with so much fitness lost from the length of my illness and then the surgery, that I just didn’t want to stress myself out getting ready for a marathon. I’m also the type of runner who over thinks every run and have kind of psyched myself out of some runs. I’m starting to get back into it, but it’s been a process.

I love the half marathon distance; it’s challenging but not exhausting for me like the marathon. I was recently at a college alumni event and ran into Joan Benoit Samuelson. In telling her of my plans to just run half marathons this year, she said, “I hate when people say they are just running halfs. Halfs are hard, too.” And there I had it, I didn’t need to feel like I was being any less of a runner by not running a marathon in 2014.

My goal for this year is to get my fitness back, to run a sub 2 hour half marathon (I told you I am slow!), and to enjoy training again instead of dreading long, hot, humid runs. This year is going to be my year.

I’m excited to get faster, to get stronger, and to enjoy running.