I am having a huge internal battle about whether or not to run another marathon.
I have not run a marathon since November 2011. It was my worst marathon time, ever. I was so burned out of running (you can read more about that here). After running 9 marathons in 3 years, I decided to take 2012 off. This extended to 2013.
The urge has been creeping up and in the back of my mind, and I started setting my sights on the LA Marathon 2014. The last time I ran the LA Marathon was a pretty bad experience, and I want a new, positive viewpoint of it, to erase what is currently in my head.
However, I have been thinking more and more about starting marathon training again, and I am not sure my intentions are in the right place and if this is the best decision for me.
If I am being completely honest, the reasons I want to run another marathon are:
- I want to redeem myself from my last poor marathon time.
- I want to feel like I am still a runner, and not a former one.
- I want to set a new personal record.
- I want to eat tons and burn it all off (this is probably the main reason, if I am being extremely honest).
- I LOVE the feeling of accomplishment.
- I like being apart of the running community.
- I want to feel like even though I have been burned out and injured; I was still able to work my way back.
I realized I am completely attached to the idea of being a runner. I have not been able to let it go. I have let it become too much apart of my identity and in defining my accomplishments, and as I see it slipping away, I am trying to grasp on tighter to it, even if it may not be good for me.
When I really started to evaluate my intentions for running LA 2014, I realized they were all ego based. All the reasons listed above are to feed my personal ego and make me feel better about myself.
The reasons I probably should not run another marathon are:
- Marathon training is SO hard on my knees, ankles and back. I am in constant pain after long runs.
- My chiropractor has told me over and over how bad running on concrete is for my back. I am usually out of alignment while training.
- Marathon training takes up so much time. It is almost like having another job. It will take time away from my family, from yoga, my reading, myself.
It was pretty eye opening during my YTT, when all of us trainees were asked about any injuries we have. Almost everyone who had some type of injury (knee problems, back problems, bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, etc.) was because they had been runners.
It has also been insightful that I have been pretty much pain free for a while. I have not run more than 5 miles since The Run Through Redlands. I have been running 3-5 miles about twice per week. That’s it. Predominately, I have been doing yoga, and a little strength training. I have little to no back, knee, ankle or foot pain, which are always nagging and present while training.
I keep telling myself that I just need to work harder this time. I just need to be smarter about my training so my injuries do not flare up as bad. I will “be better” this time.
I am evaluating if this is all really a cop out from all the work training will be (even though I am not one to shy away from a challenge) or if I am thinking through something that may be healthier for me.
One of the reasons why I wanted to do the YTT was because I did not want to just do yoga anymore, I wanted to live it. I want to take the principles of yoga, and apply them off my mat. In doing so, thus far, I have noticed many positive differences in my life.
I am still going back and forth on this decision. I do not think feeding my personal ego is a good enough reason to go ahead with it. And, yet, still, still, I have not quite let it completely go.
Any thought, feedback, or advice is definitely welcome!