I think I’m over distance running.
I have the Brooklyn Half next week and I’ve only run one double digit run- a ripe 10miler.
Last fall I ran my fifth marathon. After each, I’ve found a new activity to keep me moving during the winter. I’ve tried CrossFit, jiu jitsu, barre, and kickboxing. This year I went for a good old gym – for $20/month I could walk around my corner and have unlimited access to a ton of different classes (way better than paying $200/month for the same barre class every time). And I fell in love. Finally, I started strength training, which I knew was much needed after lower back problems plagued my last marathon. For the first time, I didn’t gain any winter weight (despite a two-week vaca eating my way through France) and I’ve gotten stronger. My bicep muscle is much harder to squeeze away when I flex now. But what I’ve noticed the most is… my body feels good. That is until I started incorporating running back into my routine. Right away the aches and general physical discomfort came back. And that’s when I thought- should I really keep running?
I always believed distance was unnecessary- why ever run more than 3-5 miles? Maybe for the fun of it? The joy of setting a goal you need to work for and the experience of training. Yet, after 5 marathons, I think I’m ready to put that love on hold for a moment. If I’m not marathon training I can enjoy my summer with long bike rides, swim more, finally put in the work to get my mile under 6 minutes, continue to build my strength, and enjoy all the weddings and accompanying celebrations I’m a part of in these upcoming months without worrying about squeezing in long runs.
So what to do now with the 12, 15, and 18mi races I’m already signed up for (and let’s not forget about the NYC Marathon)?
Perhaps train, or not, pick up my bib and shirt (gotta make those registration fees worth it!) and decide the morning of if I feel like getting out of bed or not. I’m an experienced enough runner that I can wing something and accept the fact that it won’t feel good. As for the marathon, maybe I’ll pass. And as babies creep into my life, maybe I’ll pass next year too. I know it will be in my future again, it’s just a matter of time. And isn’t that what running is about?
… no, it’s not. And that thinking that my dad got in my head when I was 5 is why I originally retired from running at age 7. Just seemed like a nice way to wrap up the post.