Failing to Commit or Committing to Fail?

It happened.

I signed up for a half marathon on a whim and didn’t show up.

I also said that I was going to run the Shires of Vermont marathon on May 20th and won’t be running that one either.

Bottom line: I don’t think much before I speak which is pretty obvious.

What happened?

I signed up a few weeks ago for the Jog for Jugs half marathon that took place last weekend. It was close to home and although the elevation was pretty steep, I thought I would be able to handle it. But, I started to have doubts last week. The total elevation climb was just under 1,700 feet and over the past few weeks I’ve been grappling with some serious leg pain (which has now morphed into some ankle pain, too). My plan was to just take it easy and use it as my weekend long run. I knew that wasn’t going to be a smart idea.

I opted not to run (and wound up losing $45) because I just wasn’t feeling 100%, physically and mentally. My legs were sore and I was exhausted after traveling. And, even more importantly, my heart just wasn’t in it. You see, I don’t want to necessarily just run a race to run it. I want to set goals for myself and conquer them. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to beat my current half marathon PR of 2:02. In the end, I was more than ok with my decision. Saturday was beautiful, I spent time outside with my dogs and then went for a 5 1/2 mile run followed by a 9 mile bike ride. You triathletes call this a “brick” workout; I call it feeling sore for 4 days.

Troublemaker. No, really. Don't let her fool you.

And then there’s Shires of Vermont. I’m sure it’s a very lovely course and maybe next year is my year to run it. Being on a crazy marathon high that I didn’t want to come down from led me to think even crazier thoughts. I was definitely in no shape to run another marathon 2 months later. In fact, you won’t find me in a crowded marathon pack until November.

So, what’s my plan here?

Source: Pinterest

There’s no plan for the next month. Am I a little nervous about this? Yes. But, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s ok. Here are some goals that I want to work on over the summer/fall:

1. Steadily increase my mileage without my legs falling off my body.

2. Work on speed once a week.

3. Ride my bike more and become more comfortable on the roads so I don’t look like a circus clown on a unicycle every time I ride.

4. Experiment with other workouts. I did a 40-minute workout the other night with Just Dance 3 on the Wii and it wasn’t until yesterday that I started feeling like a normal human being. I was so sore from busting out those moves! I want to make this part of my routine and then occasionally check out a class here and there like barre.

5. Finalize a marathon training plan.  I’m pretty sure I will use a Hal Higdon plan but haven’t yet decided which one. I have until early July to make up my mind.

6. Run a sub-26:00 Altamont 5K in August. This is an annual event that weaves its way through my neighborhood and it will be my third year running it. Last year, I ran it in 28:00 which was almost 3 minutes faster than the previous year. Sub-26:00 is attainable if I put in that speed work every week.

7. Run a sub-2 hour Mohawk Hudson half marathon in October. This race comes a week after Ragnar Adirondacks. If I can take it easy at Ragnar (my total distance will be 18.4 miles) I know I can push myself to shave off 2 minutes from my half marathon time.

8. Run a 4:30 Philly marathon in November. We all know what happened at RnR NOLA. I’m pretty sure that was a once in a lifetime mishap (or so I hope) so I’m determined to redeem myself. If I hadn’t tripped and spent time in numerous med tents I could’ve come pretty close to a 4:30.

So, I feel as though I’ve lost a little bit of my focus. I’ve been looking too much at the immediate future and not looking enough at my long-term goals.

Source: Pinterest

There’s no need to rush to prove how many races I can run or how fast I can go. I’m in it for the long haul!

Ever quit a race before you even started it? Do you often reassess your running goals/plans? How do you get through a running rut? Do you like to bust a move to any of the Just Dance games?


11 thoughts on “Failing to Commit or Committing to Fail?

  1. I haven’t quit a race….yet. However, I’m still decently new to this. I am currently in the process of reassessing my goals/plans. To get through a rut…. So far I fake it til I make it. HA! And I LOVE JUST DANCE games. 🙂 I always make sure the curtains are pulled before I let out my inner rock star though. HAHAHA!!

  2. Good call for not racing, I did that this spring! I had thought about doing the Virginia Creeper Marathon, but at the last minute decided not to do it! It was only $10 and I didn’t feel like running in the rain. And it turned out just fine!!!

  3. I’ve bailed on a race beforehand. It was hard and I didn’t like it, but I did it. It was a good decision. I think you’re being very smart and you’re listening to your body.
    I think all your goals are very attainable and I can’t wait to follow your progress and see you achieve them! 🙂
    When in a rut I have to take time off. Just get away from it for a while. It helps me for sure.
    I have never tried those games but I’d like to! 🙂

  4. Sounds like you have plenty of goals to me. Nothing wrong with some relax downtime particularly after a marathon(one in which you fell no less)! Trust your instincts!

  5. i signed up for an 8k last year then DNS. i was high off my half. i’m debating signing up for my first full right now and i’m worried i’m doing too much too soon. how will we ever know?

    1. I think as long as you are building a base slow & steady you will be ok. My goal was 3 half marathons before a full. I did 4. Helped to shake out the nerves. 🙂

  6. Sometimes you have to just listen to your mind and body and do what’s best! I think it’s respectable that you chose not to run the race. there will always be more races!

  7. Has it really been this long since I’ve checked in? Better late than never – Getting out of a rut – plan a run with a fun friend.

    Me and the kiddos love Just Dance (#1 and #3). They want to get #2. My 4 year old twins go around singing “I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me” …inappropriate for their age yes, super funny yes. We just hope they don’t sing it in pre-school.

    1. Well, at least they’re not singing “I’m sexy and I know it.” Then you’d really be in trouble. 🙂

      Thanks for the advice – I’ll definitely have to do a fun run soon!

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