“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
The past few weeks of training, if you haven’t noticed, have been quite different for me. I finally made a definite decision last week in how I wanted to approach this training season, because honestly it took me a while to come to peace with that decision.
Let’s back up a few months. After running Chicago in October, my husband and I began discussing the Boston Marathon. I remember driving home in the car and talking about our goals and what we wanted from Boston. Part of me was disappointed in my Chicago performance and wanted to so badly to reach my next goal, and then part of me felt completely exhausted and worn down.
I have never run 2 marathons within 12 months. I know how quickly my body can get run down and so I typically pick one big marathon and run it each year. Of course, when I finally got my dream of qualifying for Boston and getting in for 2016, I didn’t think twice! However, as we came back from Chicago I realized it was only 5-6 months away.
My husband encouraged me to do whatever I felt was best, but also kept reminding me of how important it is to go out there and have fun. You will never get your first Boston Marathon experience back. He was right of course, but I wanted a new PR and a stronger race so badly.
After some time running easy and beginning with a coach I quickly told him my goal was sub-3:20. He thought it was doable and we began training first for my half marathon. I had only trained with Dan for about 4 weeks prior to running the half and was really amazed at the progress I was already seeing in myself.
However, after my half marathon, I began to realize that sometimes you have to know when to slow down. I spent months and months before Chicago getting up before 4:00 AM almost every morning to get in my long tempo runs, easy runs, and workouts. I was burning the candle at both ends and could simply feel something different in me.
After several discussions with my coach, my husband, and an evaluation of other things going on in our lives I’ve decided to not race Boston in April. I have every intention of running it and giving a strong performance but I won’t be going for a new PR. This wasn’t any easy decision for me to make, and like I said it took quite a while to come to peace with it.
I truly think this is best not only for me, but for my family, and for my future running. Don’t get me wrong, I have BIG goals still ahead of myself. There will be more races, and hopefully many more big PR’s in the future but right now isn’t the right time. I want to go to Boston and enjoy every minute without obsessively staring at my watch each moment. I want to take in every street, every part of the course, and remember every moment.
It helped significantly that Chicago’s time qualified me for 2017. If I want to race Boston, then I can easily do that next year. In the long run, I believe this is the smartest and best decision for me right now.
What does that mean for my training?
I’ve been blown away with just how awesome my coach has been about this. He even agreed with the decision and didn’t have any problem adjusting my training plan.
My training plan going into Boston will have fewer miles than it did for Chicago, fewer tempos, fewer extreme works, but the effort will still be there. I will still have some workouts to keep my legs used to speed; I will still have weekly long runs, and I will still have strength training.
I’m still following my coach’s training plan. I told him even though I am not racing Boston that I still want to feel strong and in shape to tackle it. Regardless of how you run a marathon, training is still so important to have success. I want this race to still put me in a place where I can pick back up the pace and start on my next goal afterwards.
If you are here to follow my training towards a PR, well you may need to hold on for a bit. I’ll still be doing lots of running and marathon training, but just in a different way this go round. I’ve still got big goals for myself which I can’t wait to share with you in the future and I view this as a step in getting to those goals.
It’s time to run, it’s time to train, and it’s time to enjoy every moment of my road to the Boston Marathon! I can’t wait to truly celebrate how hard I worked to get there on April 18th!
Have you ever run a race just to enjoy it?
Is it hard for you to change your training?
Listening to your body is the best gift you can give to yourself! The hardest part for a runner is to know when to slow down, and what you did is amazing! It takes courage to say that I will get to my goals but not right now! I m sure you ll have a lot of fun running Boston!!!
Thank you so much! It will be a blast I’m sure! It isn’t the easiest decision for me because I’ve always love pushing myself to the next level, but right now I know it is the best decision for me and my future running!
Smart decision! I ran 3 marathons in 2015 and my body is just toast. I was planning to go for a PR at a half at the end of this month, but now I’m just going to fun-run it. Our bodies know what we need, we just have to listen.
Impressive, smart decision. You know your body best and yes, finishing a marathon in October and starting training for another one just a few months after is no joke. I’ve been there last season (finishing a marathon in April and starting training for Chicago in June) and that led me to an injury and, above all, to exhaustion. I know it wasn’t an easy decision for you, but I applaud you for doing what is best for you and for respecting your body. Enjoy the heck out of Boston and I hope to see you there!
You are going to have such an amazing time running Boston! I can’t wait to hear all about it! You are such a strong athlete making the choice to listen to your body and just run and have fun. I wanted so badly to come back with a vengeance after I had a baby, I missed running so badly. I ended up just running and even walking a good chunk my first half marathon back. At the time I was so bummed out about my time and that I didn’t have a ‘great’ time. After a few days I realized that I just ran a half marathon 4 months after a baby who cares what the time was! It’s all about perspective and you have a great one!
If there is one race to run for enjoyment it’s your first Boston! I am sure you will still be speedy but getting there with a less pressure loaded goal is smart. Have fun training and I hope to meet you in Hopkington! 🙂
The “first” of any is a new experience and kudos to you for just wanting to run and experience it all. Given how much history the Boston Marathon holds for you and your family, I think this is a great choice. Kudos to you for going with the idea and for your coach in adapting the plan to help.