To run or not to run?

I am having a dilemma.

I don’t know if I want to run a full marathon on May 6.

Correction: I know I don’t want to run a full marathon on May 6.

So what do I do?

Me finishing Around the Bay. I look tired! And relieved! Do I want to do that all over again (only with 12.2k more to go)?

Reason why not #1: My foot is effing sore

I know that losing toenails is a rite of passage for runners. People run toenail free all the time. But, in this tender early stage, I can barely wear shoes. (In fact, I didn’t wear them for a week at work. Thank goodness for a casual work environment and having several superiors who are even crazier runners than I am.) I’m not sure my foot can hack any more training — or another monster race. To make matters worse, the left foot is feeling the beginnings of something serious. It’s okay until I run, then it hurts like a mofo for a few days after.


Reason why #1: I’ve trained this much already

I am going to run a marathon. One day. But, as its been pointed out to me by a few helpful people (thanks Matt!), if I don’t run this one, I’m going to have to start at ground zero all over again. And this training cycle was physically challenging, mentally challenging and time-consuming. Do I really want to abandon all this training so far for what could turn out to be only a hypothetical situation?


Reason why not #2: Around the Bay was great

Around the Bay was probably my best long-distance race experience yet. I had fun and felt strong. Does it not make more sense to focus on the positive, focus on the 30k coming up in August and grow slowly as a runner, instead of potentially diving in over my head because I’m stubborn and silly?


Reason why #2: Around the Bay was great

I spent weeks worrying about about not being ready, for not having trained enough and for not being strong enough. But I was wrong. I was ready. I had trained enough. I was strong enough. Why would 42.2 be any different than 30 — especially when the 42.2 course is so much easier than the 30 one?


Reason why not #3: Am I really ready?

I took a week off before ATB. I took the week off after. And the week after that. And the week after that was my lowest mileage since early in the training cycle. Call me lazy, but I think I’m just burned out and not enough of a “real” runner yet to push through this. I don’t want to say I’m a quitter. I’m a hard worker who understands my limits and listens to my body. What this means is that I pretty much stopped following my training schedule post-ATB. And that’s not good.


Reason why #3: Everyone already knows you’re planning to run a marathon

Matt knows. Jill knows. My mom knows. All twelve people who read this blog know. Do I want to be seen as someone who gives up? NO!


Reason why not #4: I’m tired of running this much

See reason Why Not #3. Burn out. It feels real. And it’s not going away. Running has taken over my life. When I sleep revolves around running. What I eat revolves around running. My entire social calendar revolves around running. And while I like running, I’m not sure if I like running this much.


Reason why #4: These are just excuses

If I just got out of my head and ran, it would be okay. I don’t need to win the damn thing, just finish it. And the race gives you 6 hours to do it.


There you go. And I need to decide soon. The more I sit on my rear end, wallowing, the less ready I become for 42.2. Should I do it?


Right now, I’m leaning to downgrading to the half-marathon. I know I can do a half and have a great race. Then focus on having fun this summer. I’ll still run — I plan to sign up for a couple 10ks and 15ks and focus on getting faster — but none of this 60km a week stuff for a while. I need more yoga in my life. I want to sign up for recreational basketball. Try suspension yoga. Do things that are not running.

Tomorrow, Jill and I will run up the CN Tower. Then I’ll decide, definitively.


UPDATE (8:34am on Wednesday, April 18): I did it. I signed up for the half-marathon. I’ll give this marathon dream a go another time.


What the hell have I just done?







Posted in: Run

2 thoughts on “To run or not to run?

  1. hannah says:

    I was just thinking about you and this and was going to write you an encouraging email, but you know what? you’ve probably done the right thing. i know that i’ve been getting bored with running a lot lately and i’m not doing anywhere close to marathon training. and to be frank, sometimes climbing and having fun is the only thing that keeps me sane…

    i’m doing this 17.5 k race at hanging rock tomorrow morning, and woke up sick and congested today, and am having a glass of wine and going out with paul to eat pulled pork sandwiches for dinner (and drink more wine)… and i know that i’ll get up in the morning and be tired and drink four cups of coffee and run it and it’ll be fine. i won’t win the olympics, but it’ll be fine. and then afterwards, we’ll go to the local town brewery and celebrate and i’ll remember why running is fun and want to do it all over again. and that’s just the kind of runner that i want to be.

    • Erin says:

      Thanks Hannah. I want to still like running when this race is over and I don’t want to hurt myself. I think this is the right decision. I’ll re-assess a marathon for the fall or for next year. I don’t want to be an obsessive runner, I don’t want it to control my life. I want it to be part of an overall fitness regime that keeps me happy. I learned a lot during this training cycle and even though I’m not running the goal race, I think it was a valuable experience.

      Good luck with your race!!! I want to hear all about it!

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