To marathon or not to marathon…

I haven’t blogged for a few weeks about marathon training, mostly due to the fact that I essentially stopped training for almost two weeks. Marathon training, at least the Hanson’s training program, is really intense.  I’ve said before that it’s just as much mental as it is physical.  Basically, I just mentally checked out of training and once I missed a few workouts, it just got harder and harder to push myself out there.

It’s one thing to miss a few runs – but to miss close to two weeks of training with 6 weeks left until race day is pretty damn significant.  I’m sure that I could have resumed training and at least finished Chicago but I wasn’t completely sure if I was going to be able to muster the mental fortitude to get back into training and I don’t want to “just finish” a marathon.  Plus, I put a lot of mental stress on myself during training worrying about tempo runs and paces – I don’t need any additional stressors right now.

So, I deferred Chicago last week.

While I’m disappointed that it came to this, I do believe I made the right decision.  I think putting the pressure of trying to recover my training for a decent race in Chicago would have been a little much with what I have going on in the non-running world.

HOWEVER…there is still Richmond.  I signed up for Richmond primarily because they were offering it for $80 which is a total steal for a marathon and because Richmond has the best race swag EVER.  Secondarily, it was my backup marathon PR option if Chicago didn’t go well.  I think it’s safe to say – things didn’t go well for Chicago.

Richmond is five weeks after Chicago – that’s 11 weeks of training, which is a lot more feasible and less stressful to try and recover this training cycle and still walk away with a PR.  It really just comes down to if I can snap myself back into training mode, running six days a week and jumping back in to 40 miles weeks to build to almost 60.

In all honesty, I’m still a little on the fence.  On the one hand I want to do it because I want the medal (of course.)  Also, I know I’ll be a little sad if I don’t run a marathon this year and i’ll start to feel jealous when I see my running friends posting their medals. And I’ll likely be super annoyed and regretful that I didn’t suck it up and get back on track.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?  But there is still a little part of me that isn’t interested in doing it.  It’s like this inner lazy slob – the one who tells me to throw the laundry on the floor instead of putting it away; the one who is ok with leaving dirty dishes in the sink for a few days; the one who prefers Netflix marathons to real ones.  Let me tell you, that bitch does not want to start running six days a week again.

SO…this is what I’m going to do for this week (that we’re currently in.)

The normal week 8 schedule looks like this:

  • Monday:  6 easy
  • Tuesday:  Speed – 6 x 800 w/ 400 recovery + 1 mile wu/cd (6.5 miles)
  • Wednesday:  Rest
  • Thursday: 5 miles tempo  + 1 mile wu/cd (7 miles)
  • Friday: 5 easy
  • Saturday: 10 long
  • Sunday: 6 easy

Mileage total is 40.5.   I don’t want to jump back into 40 miles a week with three SOS workouts.  I ran 8 on Saturday that resulted in some moderate IT band related pain, so I want to ease back into the full blown plan.  Since making the mileage is more important than pace, I dropped the speedwork.

  • Monday:  5.5 easy
  • Tuesday:  2 easy
  • Wednesday:  Rest
  • Thursday: 5 miles tempo  + 1 mile wu/cd (7 miles)
  • Friday: 6.5 easy
  • Saturday: 12 long
  • Sunday: 7 easy

Mileage total will be 40 with two SOS workouts.  I want to accomplish two things.  First and foremost, I want to see if I can shut down my inner lazy-slob and run six days this week and put the inner marathoner back in charge.  Second, I want to see how I feel towards the end of the week – if going back to 40+ miles a week seems reasonable or if I would need to reduce and rebuild mileage.

It would seem that I’m leaning towards “to marathon” – but it’s been a tough month for me and with starting a new job, I just wanted to take this week to prove to myself that I really do want to race in Richmond and recommit to training.  The last thing I want to do right now is say I’m going to do it and then end up running my slowest marathon ever due to lack of training.

Stay tuned!

Have you ever deferred a marathon or race for non-injury related reasons?  Did you find it was almost more difficult since it wasn’t a physical reason?


Running for Medals. And Bacon.

8 thoughts on “To marathon or not to marathon…

  1. That is a tough decision to make and kudos for making that tough choice, that could never be easy! I’ve never deferred a marathon but this year has been a struggle…I made it through Hansons with 3 weeks to go before my target PR marathon in April and somehow injured my back on my final long run, so I never even got to see the fruits of all that labor! I whinged about it on my blog quite a bit though I took a break from the blog too while I was hurt…just no motivation. Hansons is tough…I will likely give it another try but not anytime soon. I’m determined to make it through some kind of marathon this year. I think you made the right call in targeting Richmond…best of luck!

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