This isn’t easy for me to admit. But, here it goes. I’ve decided not to run the 2016 Boston Marathon after having spent the last 3 months pushing myself harder than ever before. Believe me, it’s not easy letting go. I’ve gone back and forth many times over the last two weeks. It’s not just that I’ll miss the opportunity to run the most prestigious marathon on earth, it’s also the fear of disappointing my friends and family, and giving up on a goal I’ve worked so hard to realize over the last several years. Heck, it took two marathons just to qualify.
Three things brought me to this crossroads. First, a lingering winter cold with sinus congestion that lasted three weeks and caused my training to go completely off the rails. Second, my nagging plantar fasciitis is making my long training runs very unpleasant. Third, I’ve lost my marathon mojo, and I can’t possibly race 26.2 miles without it.
On Monday’s 15-mile training run (my third run of at least 14 miles in the last 10 days), I found myself daydreaming about road racing again. You know, the local circuit of 5Ks and 10Ks that are short enough to fully recover from before racing again the next weekend. That’s when it struck me. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I wasn’t suffering through a hard workout, or even a hard week. I was just bone-tired of running. You can read about the signs of overtraining for the marathon in my most recent article on Active.com.
After a day or two on the fence, I did what I always do when I can’t seem to figure something out. I talked to my wife. Tina is a marathon runner herself, and she usually steers me in the right direction with patience and understanding. Her advice was take some time off and see where I landed. She even suggested running Boston ‘just for fun’ and forgetting about my time goals. Bless her heart for the sage advice, but that’s not how I roll. I enter races to race.
So, knowing that my training is in the toilet and there are less than 50 days to go, I made the only decision with which I can live. I’m saying goodbye to Boston this year. If it’s meant to be, it will happen down the road. I’m not planning on slowing down anytime soon.
On the plus side, my running fitness is pretty decent. I’ll need to start hammering away at the local track to get some speed in my legs. But, that sounds kind of exciting after a diet of long runs and lengthy intervals. I’ve signed up for a couple of early spring 5K races, and I’m already tapping into a different kind of running mojo.
My respect for Boston Marathon runners remains sky high. I admire the strength, resiliency, and determination it takes to make it to the starting line. The race itself is largely a victory lap for those who have paid their dues and been lucky enough to make it through the training gauntlet in one piece. I will be sending good thoughts and cheering for each of you on April 18th.
As for the marathon, I’m taking a break. At least until I hear the results of the NYC Marathon lottery. 😉