Today is Wednesday and I officially haven’t run in a week. What happened since my adventurous slightly illegal run in California last week? Lately, I’ve been running without any headphones and it’s been really nice. Something about unplugging is really grounding and relaxing. It encourages me to listen to my body, notice the spots that are taking extra stress or when I’m feeling really good. We know that my left shin has been bothering me since my half marathon in February, but since my last long run at 18 miles, my right hip has been seriously complaining. I almost thought it was an injury, or was going to become one. But I ran the Girls On The Run 5k anyway, and then I ran two more times in California. After the second run, my track bandit run, I was straight up limping like an old lady. As I climbed out of the car still sweaty from the run, I said out loud to myself, “You’re going to hurt yourself.”
My body had been trying to tell me something for a week, but I was stubborn and I was afraid of having too much free time while traveling. What else was I going to fill my evening with if I didn’t go for a run? I flew home and limped off the plane, and it scared me. On the ride home from the airport, I finally admitted what I’d been afraid to say: I won’t be able to do the full marathon. I could do it, but I’d probably suffer A LOT, and after my first taste of The Wall on my last 18 miler, I was not eager to go there again.
Even during my first marathon last year, and the 22 and 26 mile runs I did before, I never hit the wall. I never knew what it was like. But as you know, I’ve been struggling with motivation this season. I haven’t been as dedicated. I think I started speed work too early, and then I didn’t build my base properly before getting into the really long runs. So I haven’t run in a week now. I skipped my scheduled 20 mile long run this weekend and it’s about 3 weeks til race day. It’s taken me a while to get to this point, mentally, where I can accept my body’s limitations. I have to do what’s best for my body right now and not break myself for this marathon. It’s not that important.
I started a new career path this week with a completely new schedule – thankfully, it’s more structured than before so I’ll eventually be able to get into a good training routine. This Friday, I’ll have the opportunity to introduce myself at the weekly meeting. Can I still say, “My name is Sarah and I’m training for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon,” or do I have to say “Half-Marathon?” Luckily, I’ll have the option to downsize to the half-marathon on race morning. So for now, for this season, I’ll adjust my expectations and my goals and do the best I can without hurting myself. I have to remember that the reason I run is not only because I love the exhilaration of it, but to stay healthy as well. It’s not easy after setting my sights on this goal, and working pretty hard for it, for 6 months. To the average person, half or full wouldn’t make a difference, but running has become a big part of my identity. It’s another step towards self-acceptance and the important thing is to be honest with myself, constantly moving forward.