I haven't blogged in many, many moons; but I did run the Chicago Marathon three days ago. My finish time was dang near exactly one minute slower than my PR (results can be seen more clearly if you click on the image). Considering I had a pit stop early on that probably cost me about five minutes AND the fact that I really didn't feel particularly ready for this event (I ran a decent number of miles, but did pretty much zero hill or speed workouts), I'm quite happy with the end result.
Happy enough, in fact, to retire from this particular event. As I trained for this one, I told anyone who crossed my path that I would be done with the marathon once I crossed the finish line. Few seemed to believe me, but I tell you it's TRUE.
Why, you ask? (I know, you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway). There are many reasons.
1. I think I've done as well as I can do in this event. After a very successful summer/fall in 2011, I decided to really buckle down and see what I could do. Yes, visions of Boston (in a few years) danced in my head. I undertook an extremely aggressive training plan and spent my spring of this year running and running and running. And doing killer speed work. And... I was getting faster. A month before Grandma's marathon I was feeling oh so ready to kick some booty. Then something happened in my lower left leg. I still don't know what the heck it was (MRI showed absolutely nothing wrong), but it hurt like a son of a gun. I didn't run a single mile in the three weeks leading up to Grandma's. I ran the marathon anyway, and it was a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day (for a lot of reasons). My conclusion: when I do the kind of training needed for me to improve, I break. I do not want to break.
2. My kids are growing up and taking on lots of activities of their own. My husband's a full time attorney who has started an internet company on the side. In short, we're a busy family. Training time is an issue. This may sound like I'm putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own, but I can tell you that's not the case. I'm ultimately a super selfish witch. If I wanted to continue, I would.
3. I got to the point where I was really having to psyche myself up each. and. every. time I needed to go out for a run. The joy was gone. That's unacceptable. Running so much that I don't want to run any more is not a vicious cycle I'm willing to take part in.
4. The way I need to train (being super serious about putting the SLOW in long slow distance), is not real compatible with my run club peeps. Circumstances were such that I became the lone middle of the packer, which took a fair amount of fun out of it for me.
5. I miss training with my husband. He's still recovering from hip surgery. His prognosis for a return to the marathon is iffy at best. If he does get back into the game, he's the only person that will be able to bring me out of said retirement.
I could go on and on. But my five readers are smart folks, and I know they get it. I look forward to a future of 5k's, 10k's, and half marathons. And, maybe even some triathlon training. Who wants to buy me a bike?? :-)