Yes, I’ve made my decision: no marathon. At least not this January and not in Phoenix. So, let the off-season begin!
Despite being relieved with the decision — it certainly is much easier to not be doing the marathon — I still have some mixed feelings about it. What it comes down to is that there’s a part of me that feels like I’m quitting, just giving up.
I’m not injured.
My schedule isn’t so hectic that I can’t fit the long runs in.
The weather – while nasty at times – isn’t bad enough to keep me from running.
So, what’s the problem?
Basically it came down to two things: me not wanting to go out there by myself, and my exceptionally well-developed sense of laziness kicking in. Neither of which should have stopped me.
But they did. But like a wise friend told me, it is what it is. I’ll let go of this, and move on to bigger, better, more exciting things. As the long run weekends go by without me actually DOING the long runs, I suspect that this whole thing will get easier. My laziness gene loves being satiated.
See, one thing I learned this past summer is that while I kind of fell into this solitary sport of running/triathlon, I’m really much happier doing these sorts of things with people. Which is why I love playing team sports like softball, or even competitive sports against someone else, like racquetball. Just more fun to share the experience. So, it occurred to me that when I made the commitment to run the marathon, maybe I wasn’t commiting to the distance as much as commiting to the trip, and to the people I was going with. Another very wise friend told me that a marathon isn’t something you do half-assed, it’s something you have to dedicate yourself to (I have a lot of very wise friends!) — and now that a big piece of what was motivating me was gone, the dedication I would need to carry me through the training and race wasn’t really there. And if nothing else, it provides logical rationale so that I don’t feel quite as guilty being lazy.
Which is not to say that I won’t ever attempt this distance again. Even though my motivation – having others around to laugh, joke and commiserate with – isn’t necessarily the same as what gets other people moving, it still works for me. Sometimes I think it makes me sound needy or desperate for company, but – again – it is what it is. From the beginning, even with the triathloning and running I’ve always tried to bring other people into it (just ask my poor friends who I constantly drag into my half-baked race schemes). That’s always been my plan of action. More people = more fun. Just call me Ms. Social Butterfly. Or something like that.
So, for my next marathon, I’ve got some ideas. Perhaps my “2009 – The Year Of Not Racing!” might have one exception. Perhaps. I’m going to leave the door open and see how I feel about it later on.
But until then: bring on the cookies! The holidays have started, and there’s nothing like an off-season to celebrate them with.