Ugh. Part of me really hates to write this post, and the other half of me is pretty relieved. Here are my reasons
1. I can't commit enough time to train properly.
I talked a little about training for my first half marathon here, and I learned a lot of lessons I certainly didn't want to repeat. Let me also reiterate that the first time around, I had no job, no boyfriend, and no huge social circle in Greenville yet. Fast forward a year, and I've got a lot more on my plate. I knew fitting in 15+ miles a week was going to be tough, I just didn't quite realize it would be this tough. I absolutely love my job, but there's a lot of responsibility/extracurricular activities that comes with it. As employees, we're expected to attend philanthropic events, events for clients, join Young Professionals' groups in our area, and be active in the community. What does that really mean? I don't really stop working at 5 pm. I might be at a recruiting event until 10 pm in Clemson, a baseball game sponsored by the firm, or a Young Professionals' Happy Hour. Quite frankly, I just haven't figured out how to do all of that and fit in a run 4 days a week.
Does it sound like I'm complaining? Probably. But I'm honestly not trying to. I enjoy these after-work activities. But knowing I have to run before work/after work/before the event/after the event/
Last training cycle, I used a beginner's plan which only slated a long run of 10 miles. The rest were manageable 6, 7, and 8 milers. However, when I look back on DailyMile, I didn't run any of those long runs. I took a vacation to San Diego mid-training, and didn't run for over a week. I got injured after the 10 miler and backed off significantly so I would still be able to run the race. Long story short, when those 13.1 miles were in front of me, I hadn't trained properly. I was not equipped to run 13 miles and that was why I missed my goal time by almost 20 minutes.
So I tried to remedy that solution for Half Marathon #2. I found a plan with high(er) mileage, with a 12 mile run sandwiched by two 10 mile runs, and several 8 mile runs. I knew this would help with endurance and allow me to get used to the time on my feet. This theory worked great, until I got bit by the travel bug.
If you overlap my long runs with my calendar, it looks a little like this:
- September 29 - Boston, MA + 10 miles
- October 6 - Cabo San Lucas + 12 miles
- October 13 - Cashiers, NC + 10 miles
So what was one solution? Oh, just move those long runs to the Monday when I get back from vacation. 12 miles after working 9 hours? No. Thank. You.
The other option? Skip them.
Then I'm right back where I started on race day, facing 13.1 miles with completely inadequate training.
3. Some things are more important
I mentioned this briefly in last week's training recap, but running isn't my life. It's a hobby. Things more important to me include my family, Ryan, my friends, cooking, and enjoying all of life's opportunities (see wanderlust, above). Am I going to miss out on a vacation, a dinner with friends, or a football game with the excuse, "Sorry guys, I can't, I've got to go run" ?? Hell no.
I also really like my sleep. I turn into a whiny, cranky witch when I sleep less than 7 hours (and I prefer 8 or more). Even though getting my run out of the way first thing in the morning was a great start to the day, I was really, really ticked off when my alarm went off before 6 am.
Running didn't seem fun anymore; it seemed like a chore instead. That, my friends, is not something I signed up for.
4. I need variety
I joined the Y back in January so I could take advantage of the group classes. I was excited about trying some strength training (Kettlebells), Yoga, and Cycling.
Welp. I haven't used my membership in over a month. All this running has consumed my free time and I'm wasting 29 precious dollars a month for a gym I haven't had time to frequent. With cutting back on running, I'll be able to get back to the gym and get some variety back into my routine.
5. I don't want to half-ass another half marathon
I know what a huge accomplishment it is to finish a half marathon, and I don't regret for one minute that I crossed that finish line in Pinehurst, which for a while, was extremely questionable.
But to me, it wasn't a success. I walked a lot. My whole body hurt. I started out too fast. I didn't know there would be hills (huge fail). Blah Blah Blah. I had a finish time in my head that I thought was attainable and I missed it by a lot. What can I say? I'm a perfectionist.
So when I signed up for #2, I wanted it to be successful. A PR would've been nice, too. But based on the reasons above, this one isn't quite shaping up to be too successful either.
Does that mean to say that I won't try anything if I think I'm going to fail? No, absolutely not. Half Marathon #1 was proof of that. I just don't want to continue doing something when I can't put in the effort to improve. Make sense?
Geez. That was enough complaining for one post. Now on to the good stuff:
Because I had already registered for the half and didn't want to entirely lose my money, I transferred my registration to the 5K, The Big Punkin'. People are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes! I've never even run a 5K since I
got too drunk missed the St. Patty's Day one back in March.
Now I still have a goal to work towards (run 3.1 miles without stopping) and I won't feel completely bummed about dropping out of the Half Marathon.
Thanks for sticking around if you made it through that lengthy post. Whew.