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Decisions, Decisions

on January 24, 2012

I’m facing a marathon decision.  Well…it’s actually two decisions as you’ll read later in the blog.   I’ve been thinking about this for months actually.  I didn’t just start thinking about this last week.

It all started after my first full marathon on June 5th, 2011.   About mile 23, I was cursing myself as to why in the hell would I have done this to myself, and, I am NEVER doing this again!  After I crossed the finish line and hugged my family, I sat in the ice bath they provided for us, thank GOD, and then we went to my sister’s apartment downtown Minneapolis where I took another ice bath and then showered.  We left soon after that.  All in all, it was about two hours after the marathon that this thought entered my mind….

I want to do another one.  I want to do the Twin Cities Marathon.

I really couldn’t believe those thoughts had entered my mind and I was a little afraid of them.  I said it out loud to my husband that day in the car on the way home and his answer was simply…”Go for it.”

I forced the thoughts and feelings out of my head and heart because I did not want to make any decisions based on my emotions.  I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained AND on cloud nine at the same time. I did not want to decide based on any of those feelings.  In my blog “Marathon Memories” recap, I stated that I was going to wait and let some time pass before I made a decision on any future marathons, but, it’s been hard to do that.

On one hand, I can’t not describe the relief it felt to have that over with.  Not just the day, but more the training.  Marathon training and running must be faced with a completely different mindset.  You have to change your thinking about almost everything.  It’s as though you are in a different world.  You worry, obsess, write down, think, worry again about everything you are doing.  You have to be extremely careful what other activities and cross training you are doing as to not injure yourself.  You cannot miss certain runs during training because if you do and you miss too many of them, you are not going to finish…bottom line.  It’s a lot of pressure.

On the other hand, I can’t describe nor explain the feeling inside me that makes me want to do it again, even though I know what I’m in for.  There’s just something deep down there…in my gut…I can’t explain it.  I know how painful it’s going to be. I know how hard I have to work.  I know I’ll be missing sleep.  I know I’ll have to really adjust my schedule.  I know I’m going to be scatterbrained.  I know that during my first marathon training….I was in the best shape of my life.

I can’t describe the feeling of finishing.

Considering all of this for all these months, I also needed to discuss this with my husband and son.  It’s not just about me and what I want to do.  Long runs take a significant amount of time away from the family on weekends.  Our weekends are busy.  Even though the first time, I got up at 2:30am on Saturdays to get in the long runs as to not disrupt our family time, I can’t do that EVERY Saturday either.  And here’s the thing…..my goal changed a little bit, well not really a little bit, a lot bit.  I want to run in the Minneapolis Marathon on June 3rd, 2012 AND the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7, 2012.  I want to do two.  That’s an even bigger commitment.

So I talked with my husband first.  I knew what he would say, but I still like to talk to him about things.  Of course, as I knew, he was completely supportive and told me to definitely go for it.  He feels very strongly that I can certainly do both.  He’s always believed that I could to it…anything really.  He’s so supportive.

Then I talked to my 15 year old son.  But when I told him, I added that I did have some doubts.  I explained my thinking, what I wrote earlier about feeling relieved to be done, the training commitment and difficulty, not being sure that I wanted to get back into all that and for TWO marathons, etc.  He listened and then this was the conversation that followed:

Son:  I think you should do it.

Me:  Why?

Son:  Why wouldn’t you?

            Me:  Well…I’m not sure I want to devote that much time to it again.  It’s a huge commitment.  It’s a lot to                        do.  The training is really, really intense.  I’m not sure I want to go back to that.  But there’s a big part of me that does, so I’m not sure.

            Son:  You are your own obstacle.

            Me:  Yeah, but I’ve already done one.  I know I can do it…so it’s not really that.

            Son:  Yes it is.  You are talking yourself out of it.

           Me:  Hmmmmmm……(and no comment from me at this point)

           Son:  Mom, remember how good you felt when you were done with the first one?

           Me:  Yeah.

            Son:  Then why wouldn’t you want that again?  Just go do it.

And he’s 15 years old.

IF, and that’s IF I go ahead with this, here’s what I would be doing.  Minneapolis Marathon on June 3, 2012.  Twin Cities Marathon on October 7th, 2012.  Registration isn’t open yet for one of them, so I have some time to continue to think. However, I have started marathon training just in case I decide yes.  That way, I haven’t lost any time.

I’ve also thought about not telling anybody that I’m thinking of doing this.  Then if something happens, like an injury or anything else, then I wouldn’t have to explain why I’m not running in the race.  But, for me, that goes against everything that my blog writing is intended to be.  I want to document what I’m doing, what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling.  If I do decide to try for both or even one, and if it happens that for some reason I can’t finish, I have to pull out, or whatever, then that’s part of my journey and it too deserves to be documented.

Whatever I decide, I will know that I thought long and hard and gave the decision very careful thought.

Until I decide, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

 

 

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6 responses to “Decisions, Decisions

  1. Linda Dwyer says:

    I am going to pray that God gives you clear discernment Jess! And I so get your dilemma in terms of time, energy and family:) My one thought of piggy back marathons would be adequate recovery and burnout. However, you love to run as I do and I absolutely KNOW…. without question that it is you to accomplish what ever dream God places on your heart! I think I’m going to stick to half’s this year and shoot for another full next spring to celebrate my 50th:)….but I will be cheering you on from KC!!!!

    • runnergal22 says:

      Thanks Linda! I have thought about the recovery and burnout too. There is a whole training cycle in between. The gal I ran my first marathon with (and we ran a half together last year) did the same thing. We are very similar runners in terms of our pace etc. So I’ll see. I know that God will lead me to the right answer for me!

  2. Deb Day says:

    I love that boy! He is so smart (so is your hubby, but, I too, knew he would support in whatever you choose–he’s a great guy like that). Go for it, Jess. Follow your passion–and running is your passion right now.

    Love you–and, hey, in March, can we have a SWIFT? Or will that go against training rules?

    Love you

  3. Sara Ryerson says:

    I say go for it – the only thing that will stop you is injury or unexpected life events, which can happen whether you are training or not. Equally important is your family’s (we love those guys 🙂 support. My back and feet could never manage a marathon but I have good friends who are “crazy” runners (including a couple of ultra runners) and I see the runner’s success as a team effort. And I can enjoy more great blog entries 🙂

  4. Maureen says:

    Jess I am not your typical runner. I do not train for the marathons. I just run. You are in awesome shape. You have plenty of endurance. You can do it without training and running long runs. I truly believe that. If you are not out to break a time, set a PR but out to just have fun because you LOVE to run then do it. I say I would also add Take a break from the rigid schedule. Just do what you feel your body needs. Throw a long run in there. I ran 1 20 mile run in my training. That is all. I ran a fun race was proud of my time but most of all I enjoyed it and the training. I did not stress out. I would only run 2 or 3 days a week. I would do other cardio and weights the rest of the week. I do workout everyday which is not the best for you either. My spine can not take running distance that long so I did what I thought I could do. Do it for the joy and the feeling of accomplishment. Relax and have fun with it.

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