Running a Marathon (and Other Things I'm Not Doing This Weekend)

If I've learned anything this year, it's that things don't always go according to planned. You would think that by this point, in my 27th year on this earth, I might have figured that out, but it seems that the Universe has had a real field day this year with teaching me that lesson. My plans a couple months ago included, among other things, running my 3rd marathon (ever, and also this year) tomorrow in Richmond. I got halfway through my training before finally listening to my heart and dropping to the half marathon.

Making that decision was bittersweet because I felt like I was giving up, but truthfully, I had already given up long before I clicked the "Transfer" button on the race registration page. I learned a lot from this whole experience, more than I would have learned had I gone through with my training, I think. I learned a lot about what I need from a training experience, what works for me and what doesn't. I learned that there is so much more to running than the marathon and that achieving other goals is just as fun. It may not be rewarding in the same way training for and running a marathon is rewarding, but it's fun. And since I'm not going pro anytime soon, isn't fun kind of the point?

So this weekend, will not be running a marathon. I will be running a half marathon, which is still kind of a lot, but anyone who has run a marathon will tell you that a marathon is not simply a half marathon x 2. I'm pretty good at math but I can't even figure out how it works out that the first half of a marathon is roughly 20 miles and the second half is the last 6.2. Just trust me.

I will not have a full-on, ugly-cry meltdown at the expo over a hoodie.

I will not refill my Camelbak approximately 40 times a day and drink my weight in water.

I will not stuff my face with so much Mexican food Saturday night that I have to go lay down in the car during dessert. I guess I can't be 100% sure this won't happen, but if it does, it won't be because I'm operating on a -2000 calorie deficit for the day.

I will not have to hobble down the stairs on Sunday. Or have trouble getting in and out of the car on Sunday. Or take way longer than necessary to pee just because sitting down and standing up is an extraordinarily painful task. Or otherwise feel trapped in an 80-year-old's body.

I won't have one of the best days of my life. I've been thinking a lot about my first marathon a lot lately...maybe it's the fact that it's marathon season and there's a new recap to read every week. Maybe it's the fact that the 1-year anniversary will be here before I know it. Whatever it is, it's been on my mind a lot. The day I ran my first marathon was a magical day full of rainbows and butterflies, and I'd run 26.2 miles every single day if I had to to get it back. But while I'm desperate to have that feeling again, I know that it's not in a time capsule waiting for me to uncover it again. I can always look back and remember it fondly, but no other marathon is ever going to top it. I'm never going to get that day back, even if I run a million more marathons, and I have to let it go.

Ultimately, I'm way more happy than I am sad about the fact that I will not be running 26.2 miles tomorrow. I've been able to spend more time with my family during the weekends, rather than running until I drop. I've been able to fit my runs into my school schedule without too much stress or pressure (and even that has been difficult, so I have no idea how I would have managed to actually train for a full marathon). I've been able to PR shorter distance races that otherwise wouldn't have fit into my training plan. I was able to continue my Wicked streak - 4 years and counting! Instead of sacrificing myself for the marathon, I sacrificed the marathon for myself. In the end, I think I got a lot more out of the latter than I would have gotten from the former.

So that's what my weekend, and all the things I will and won't be doing during it, look like. What are you up to (or not up to) this weekend?


  1. You have such a good way of looking at it. Spend time with the family and do something you love this weekend instead. I'm leaning towards doing more PR as oppose to increasing my distances. I would love to run a really fast 10 km and I think it's just as challenging as running a ultra marathon if you have to work from point A and get to point C. Just a different type of challenge. Does that makes sense? haha Enjoy your weekend xx

    1. Perfect sense! Even though finishing a marathon was a way bigger accomplishment than running a 10k under 50 minutes, in the moment the 10k was much harder and took a lot more work. It's just a different perspective for me since until recently my focus has been on increasing my distance. I'm still getting used to it!

  2. Way to keep the glass half full! I'm doing that too because I'm skipping my half. I finally just chose to defer my full marathon to next year (thankful that was an option).
    I seriously laughed out loud at the eating Mexican food thing.

  3. you make me not want to do a full marathon until i'm really sure i am going to smash it - and then that way the first will also be my best, haha. i know what you mean, of course i have only ever done half marathons but nothing will ever compare to my first even though i walked some of it. its kinda like reading a book to me - i will always remember the first time i read pride & prejudice, the book thief, lord of the rings, harry potter.. all my favourites. i can go years without reading them so that i forget most of the story when it's time to re-read.. but nothing will ever compare to the first time i read them. yeah trust me to compare running and reading lol.

  4. I've said it before, but I'm proud of you for reaching and letting yourself enjoy the decision to run the half tomorrow. As always, I so admire your perspective! Have a great race tomorrow, have so much fun (because it totally is the point!) and enjoy as much or as little Mexican food as you want tomorrow night. Get it girl.

  5. I can safely say that I will not be running a marathon this weekend either :P But girl what an inspiration you are!

  6. Great attitude. Have a fun time in Richmond and good luck!

  7. It's awesome that you're so positive! Good luck on your half!

  8. Good luck tomorrow!!! I hope you have a great race and just an overall great weekend! Enjoy the run!!!! :)

  9. You're still gonna kill that half marathon! Get it girl!!!!!!

  10. People kept telling me over and over: there's nothing like your first marathon. And it so true! Each race distance takes its own strategy and hard work, and I don't think of it as any less. Here's to no grandma hobbling! Haha.

  11. Just reading your blog makes me all running happy Im not even kidding! :)


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