Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday's on the Run: My thoughts on Racing post marathon

Happy Tuesday and more importantly--Happy Tuesday's on the Run! It's been a hot minute since I've talked about running on my "running" blog so I figured there's no better day than today to jump back into it.

Linking up!

In case you didn't know, I ran my first marathon back in November (and it was awesome!). I had a pretty decent race and even hit my B goal of getting under 4 hours. Crossing the finish line was a moment I'll never forget and definitely ranks up there with getting married, engaged, and buying a house.

So, with it being such a momentous time in my life, why am I finding it so hard to commit to any races in 2016?

The thought of racing at the moment just.... doesn't sit well with me. I love racing and it ranks up there as one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. But right now? I can't even bring myself to LOOK at any upcoming races. I've lost some of that racing MOJO and I need to find it.

That being said..... I'm in no hurry.

There are a variety of reasons I contribute to my current mindset--

1. I raced a LOT last year. I ran an insane amount of 5k's, a few 10k's, and snuck in 3 half marathons along with my full. I put a lot on my plate and ate every single bit of it. I had a ton of fun and don't regret any of those races but man... looking back, I should have been smarter about planning.

2. I put a TON of pressure on myself to perform at the highest level possible. I won a lot of races last year--either overall female or my age category. When you start winning, people expect you to win every single time. And that turns into a LOT of pressure, a lot of nerves, and a lot of self doubt when you don't perform at your best. I remember one day in particular last year--I had 20 miles on my training plan and ran a half marathon that morning (1:42), 4 miles after, and then laced up for a 5k that night at 8pm. I won overall female but finished in a little over 22 minutes. And I was UPSET. HELLO! Do you understand how crazy that is to be upset?? Looking back on it, I do now! Ridiculous. The fact that I was still in good enough form to RUN a 22 minute 5k should have been good enough.

3. Post marathon blues. Running your first marathon is a funny thing. You work your ass off for 5-6 months for a race that lasts 4 hours. I put my blood, sweat, and LOTS of tears into that race. And let's be honest... waking up on a Saturday morning knowing you have to log 18 miles isn't exactly the most fun way to spend your weekend. (Those of you who do this often, I commend you!) The next day after I crossed the finish line, it kind hit me--running a marathon was that end-all item on my running bucket list and it was officially completed. The feeling of "What now?" hit almost immediately.

So, here I am at the end of February, with racing season getting ready to kick into high gear, and I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs. I'm still running--in fact, I log miles almost every day. I could probably go out and wing a half marathon tomorrow and have no issues. But... I'm not. At least not yet.

I've learned a lot from running. I've learned to be patient, to follow through on something from start to finish, to believe in myself, and I've learned that my body is capable of some impressive shit. But I've also learned that I can't force myself to do something when my heart isn't fully there yet.

Am I worried that I'll never rekindle my relationship with racing? No. I'll get there. I'm a competitive person and you can't keep me down for too long. I'm signed up for a few OCR's and am very stoked about those. But when the time is right, I'll know. It could be next week, it could be next month, heck... it could be next year.. but I'll get there.



  1. Good for you for listening to your heart and doing what's right for you. Running and racing will always be there when you're ready to return. Thanks for linking up.

  2. Congrats on having a fantastic year of running and completing your first marathon! It makes so much sense that your body and mind are ready for a bit of a break now...I'd say enjoy it while you can, since you know you'll be back to the madness before you know it!

  3. I am training for my first marathon April 3rd. I signed up for all kinds of races in Jan, Feb & March to use them as training runs, but it didn't go like I planned. When I am at a race, even if in my mind its a training run, I feel pressure. So I have backed off. And we'll see after the marathon !

  4. A few yrs ago I did 5 marathons in one yr and 4 fulls the next. I got really burnt out. And now I only do about one a yr. Like you said, it takes alot of commitment and dedication. There are so many other great smaller races out there that can be less time consuming to train for.

  5. I like to run races a lot, but I had one time period where I ran 13 half marathons in 79 days. I was so over racing at that point. I haven't raced since October and I keep expecting to feel antsy but I'm not. I'm signed up for some races though, so I guess I'll be doing it anyways LOL.

  6. Without really knowing you, I think you're spot-on with taking it easy. I do a lot of races, but I'm not super competitive. I'm always striving for a faster finish time...but I'm not fast enough to expect it every time. Also, I have "morphed" into racing for the pure thrill of running, and I try to enjoy the scenery and not obsess over my stats (most of the time). Your mojo will return, when the time is right for YOU. Congrats on a great year ;-)