Wednesday, August 1, 2012

about that marathon...

funny how the desires of ones heart can so drastically change in a 6 month time frame.

exactly 6 months ago i eagerly followed the lead of my husband pulling the trigger for the Chicago marathon 2012. maybe it was all the excitement from meeting abdi or the fact that MY HUBBY WAS RUNNING A MARATHON, either way i had no shame about spending that $150 on myself. until now.

truthfully i've never really liked the marathon. at first thought it always sounds like a great adventure to me, just me and the open road coasting along for hours. but as it becomes my reality, it somehow looses a bit of it's luster on me. not really sure why, but it has held an inevitable doom over me for mary's 2 through 6. two years ago i sent myself into a mental tizzy with the pressure i was putting on myself as i spent the thirty minutes pre race in tears. yikes, for sure a low point in my life. and than there's last year, i was a mentally charged powerhouse but my body begun to break down in the taper weeks before the race and completely derailed after mile 15. that really sucked.

but for some dang reason i keep signing up for this distance. never learn i suppose.

being realistic here, i think that the marathon and i need a bit of a break. nothing permanent, just a bit of space to figure things out and explore our options. i mean there are a lot of other races out there, and i think we would be both limiting ourselves if we focused solely on each other instead of prospecting other opportunities.

so yes, it's true big hairy CM12 goal...i'm calling it off. but it's not you, it's me.

that sub 3:10 finish (and then some) is still out there for me, just not this year. and maybe not next. or even the next one after that. but one day.

sometimes what is important to me in the moment isn't the same thing that is important to me weeks, months, or even years down the line. but such is life, constantly evolving so who am i to fight the change?

i'm still toeing the line this fall next to the love of my life as his own personal pacer and cheer squad all wrapped up in one, which i am ecstatic about. i've been running for so many years now where it has always been about me. 

passing up late night friday escapades because i have to get up early for a long run the next morning. 
early sunday morning races where support is needed and sometimes expected.
pairs upon pairs of shoes.
thousands and thousands of dollars on race entry fees.
always getting that last extra serving of dinner because i need extra fuel stores.

being at the side of my man as he races his first marathon in 6 years has recently seemed more important to me than that PR because there doesn't have to be an expiration date on that. it'll still be there waiting for me when my body is strong enough to handle it and my heart is eager enough to chase it down. so for now i'm going to stand aside and let him have his moment as i quietly fade into the background, God knows this man deserves it after years in the supportive role at countless races.

i'm taking that $150 guaranteed B corral spot and lining my tushy way in the back pack of runners of the open corral to enjoy those 26.2 miles alongside my best friend in the city i love.

no expecation. no hard feelings. no regrets.

29 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are making a great decision! I've paced a couple friends during races, and it is both rewarding to help them achieve their goal, and a relief to have the pressure off of myself to hit a certain time goal.

    AND, it's funny, I've been working on a post for a few days now (trying to edit it to make sure it comes across right) about how I've also decided to run the marathon with my husband, at his pace. For entirely different reasons, but I think we'll both really enjoy October 7! :)

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    1. yes the lack of pressure is doing me good right now. it's hard to make it not sound douchey when you say "i'm running with them, and they are slower". i'm sure someone is going to think i'm a jack wad for this. but honestly i could really care less about pacing for this race and instead want to be at my mans side as he achieves his goal, gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

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    2. The fact that you would give up your own glory for someone else is a big deal, and the farthest thing from being a jack wad. I've had a few runner friends tell me they could never run at someone else's (slower) pace during a race. I know I race a lot, so I don't mind "giving up" a race every once in awhile. But, personally, I find pacing someone else to be SO rewarding, that it is totally worth it, and almost feels as good as PRing, but without the stress.

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  2. Sounds like a good decision Britt - I think every serious distance runner goes through the inevitable progression...the seduction of 'the marathon'. Running should be about enjoying it because even for someone as ridiculously fast as you, we aren't getting paid to do it. Do what makes you happy - and if that's running alongside someone else then hell yeah.

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  3. Good for you! Finding joy in your training is important...so is knowing when you're not feeling it and you need to change directions. Good for you for going with what is right for you! :)

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  4. I love your attitude! I am sure you will get to where you want to be when you are ready for it. I kind of feel the same way about the marathon but I don't think I will give up on it until I make it to Boston! I am not sure how long that will take!

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  5. good for you Britt! This is a mature, loving & self-less decision of yours. I find that w/the marathon (training, diet, etc. etc.) becomes not only physically tiring but, mentally draining as well. You have to follow what is right for YOU. I think it's so great that you're going to run 26.2 w/your man. It'll be a race that you two will never forget. :)

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  6. Sounds like it will be an amazing experience running the marathon side-by-side!! :)

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  7. You're making a wonderful decision! I'm sure it will end up being one of your favorite races :)

    I had sworn off marathons after January's Miami marathon hip flexor explosion, but after receiving an early morning call from L saying he'd registered For the Chicago marathon (and me questioning the validity of his registration) I pulled the trigger myself and registered- because there was no doubt in my mind I needed to be with my man every step of the way. It was the least I could do for him after seeing him on the sidelines cheering for me all this time :) Im so excited to be his biggest cheerleader and support system.

    See ya October 7 in the corral, with the rest of the herd :)

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  8. They say that running a marathon is usually a crap shoot. Run slightly too fast too early and the last part of the race is a nightmare. Run too slow early, and you'll regret that you did not have a faster time. That usually holds except in a case like yours when the outcome can only be good one since the clock doesn't matter and because you will be returning the love and support that you've gotten the last few years.

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  9. You will have a blast running with your husband and being his personal cheerleader! I wish a friend would do that for me at a marathon :)

    Some of your reasons to pace your husband are why I am doing a 50K instead of a marathon. It feels like less pressure. I am not worried about pace. I don't feel as on edge as with a marathon. It's weird since it's a longer distance!

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  10. Love your honesty with yourself and others. thank YOU.

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  11. Curious as to what corral you guys will be in? My sis and I will be in L!

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  12. This is awesome - you are going to enjoy this experience so much more - and I am sure it will be very memorable for the both of you. Kudos to you for finding a mental calmness for the race.

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  13. Once I ran a marathon without the Garmin, no pressure, lots of stops for pictures.....etc. I had SO much fun that I haven't gone back to actually "racing" in races ever since. You will have a blast, good choice!

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  14. ha!! I love your "It's not you, it's me" line! I think it's awesome that you are going to run along side your hubby. My husband has never run a marathon (done 2 HM's) and we've made a deal that whenever he does decide to train and do one I'm going to run along side him every step of the way. In our case it will be more realistic to do this once our youngest is in school so we have at least 4 more years to go. Still, it's a goal we have to do one together. I am excited to read about your experience as the encouraging spouse!

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  15. My bet is that this race will provide you with a whole new prospective on racing and the people who run. You're going to have a blast, no doubt! Honestly, I can't wait to read your thoughts about it post race!!

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  16. I read this last night, and then again this morning, and I just really love this post. I think you and your husband are going to share an incredible experience, and I agree with Greg above - I hope it provides you with the perspective you need / want to grapple with that 26.2 and your sun 3:10 (which, I have no doubt will happen)!

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  17. Great decision - I love this! I think it is so important to have awareness of where you are mentally and physically and I think it's awesome that you are going to pace your husband, I'm sure he appreciates it a lot! Have fun and enjoy it :)

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  18. LOVE! So cool that you are running the marathon with your hubby. Enjoy every moment.

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  19. Your husband is a lucky man to have you by his side! I think running the marathon without the added pressure of time will make you fall in love with running again...just wait and see :)

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  20. Please run in the ISD 109 Resurrection Mary 5K run to benefit their scholarship fund. It's exactly two weeks after the marathon. Resurrection Mary look-a-likes, and runners will get to run through the gates of historic Resurrection Cemetery. Very cool right before Halloween!
    http://www.isd109scholarshiprun.org/

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  21. well said.
    and also probably my favorite post of yours yet.
    there will be many years and many races to come.
    i can't wait to hear about your experience running from this new 'non-elite' perspective.

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  22. You're such a sweet wife :)

    http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com/

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  23. your decision sounds both incredibly wise AND selfless. If you're having qualms about it, you could've easily decided to just spectate. Running with your husband is an awesome idea.
    Sounds like you're both very blessed to have each other. Can't wait to hear how it goes for both of you!

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  24. I'm with you sister. hard decision for me too...but the marathon and I have broken up....not sure how long...but until I change my mind and am sure I can train without getting another F-ing stress fracture:)
    xxx

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  25. Inspirational attitude. Just the kind of athletes we are searching for to tell their stories in support of great charity. Please check out givingtoextremes.org. Good luck!

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  26. I totally feel you on this one. I didn't sign up last year for the same reasons you mention. It was like a burden and it wasn't really fun any more. I signed up this year... refreshed, motivated and ready to rock! Then 3 weeks ago I had my appendix removed, thus jacking up my body in the heart of training! Now I'm just trying to get a decent workout routine back in place so that I can just FINISH the race. I've thrown a time goal out the window. It's so depressing when training loses its luster! I'm hoping, like you, that throwing a time goal out the window will make the rest of this training more enjoyable!

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