Hot pink legwarmers = SUPERHUMAN

I Am Not Running The Eugene Marathon

Date: March 19, 2012 at 9:33 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 101

For three years, I woke up every single day excited about running.

It was always something I looked forward to. Days without a run-induced sweat just weren’t as rewarding as run days. Often times, I would ride one runner’s high right into the next one.

I ran my first half marathon in July 2009 in 2:14. Less than two years later, I ran my fourth half marathon, this time in 1:44. It just happened that way. I didn’t do speed work or hill training. I just kept running, and somehow I got faster. I didn’t know anything about pacing, I didn’t see the need for a running watch, and I had never heard (or, uh, mastered) the term “negative splitting.” I didn’t race often, but when I did find myself at a start line, I loved it. I would always tear up during those first few steps of a race because I was so happy to be out there, surrounded by fellow runners, racing our guts out. Race mornings, with all the nerves and the excitement (and the 400 trips to the bathroom…), were a friggin’ blast.

That's my elbow on the far left. And by "my elbow" I mean Kara Goucher's elbow.

But lately, things have changed for me.

Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot about running, and the knowledge has helped me, but it has also seriously derailed me from the real reason I started to run in the first place: for fun.

I never ran to lose weight or to win races. I’m not an elite and I’m certainly not getting paid to sign up for running events. I have always loved working toward a goal, which is why I got into a habit of racing. Nothing wrong with that, right?

When I was training for the Hamptons Marathon, my first marathon (you knew that already — I think I’ve mentioned it before?), I looked forward to each training run, because every run brought something new. A 16-miler! An 18-miler! A 20-miler! The big one! I felt myself getting faster thanks to speedwork, stronger from all the miles, and excited about how badass I felt. I finally felt like a runner.

So naturally, as soon as I crossed that Hamptons finish line, I was ready to sign up for my next big challenge. I took one day off — one day to recover from running 26.2 miles for the first time — and then I was back at the gym, back on the Bridle Path and back on various race registration sites. I was so hopped up on adrenaline that I just wanted to keep going! I took it slowly at first and then built my mileage back up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.

Despite a Crohn’s flare-up in the middle of training, my long runs all went well, and with Brian as my new training buddy, I got significantly faster and set a few shorter distance PRs leading up to race day.

Race day arrived, it didn’t go as planned, and I moved on.

The new year showed up quickly, and I felt ready to run a spring marathon. I knew I had an excitingly busy spring coming up — I’m the Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding, I’m moving, I’m throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law and I’m becoming an aunt for the first time! — but I was happy to add one more personal challenge to the plate.

And so, I registered for the Eugene Marathon on April 29.

I hired Coach Cane to train me for the race, and together we were excited. My goal for the race was to break 4 hours, which meant shaving 14 minutes off my Hamptons time. We were both confident I could do it.

I’m still confident I can run a sub-4:00 marathon.

But it won’t be in Eugene, and it won’t be on April 29.

Over the past month and a half, my body has started giving out on me. I like to think I’m superhuman and that I can overcome anything, but that may not be the case. Weird.

Hot pink legwarmers = SUPERHUMAN

Training for Eugene hasn’t gone as planned. First there was the brutal hip pain that forced me into a few unplanned rest days. No big deal. But then I came down with that stomach flu and spent five days in bed. Not ideal with a crucial 20-mile run on the horizon. I recovered from the flu, and then I hit the road again, only to be greeted with some worrisome knee pain.

And now?

A Crohn’s flare-up.

Another one.

I knew it was a flare-up as soon as I woke up Friday morning. By Friday night, my fever had climbed to 102, which is a side effect I always get at the onset of a flare. My entire body ached — joint pain is another side effect — and I spent more time in the bathroom than out of it.

Coach Cane wanted 20 miles from me on Saturday. I followed my usual run plan. It took me two hours to leave my apartment. Every time I tried to start running, I ended up back in the bathroom, doubling over in pain and doing Crohnsy things.

I eventually started to run, slowly as requested, but it was hard. By the time I hit 5 miles, I knew 20 wouldn’t happen. At 10 miles, I called it.

Everything hurt, and mentally I had no push. There was no, “I really want to do this! You can get through it, Ali! Come on, let’s crush it in Eugene!” I was just “blah.”

My self-diagnosis? A little case of burnout.

I think it’s clear that I piled on a bit too much too soon, and my brain and body rejected the idea. And as my body started shutting down and being uncooperative, my mentality shifted from “I love running!!!!!!” to “I don’t even care about this long run today.”

About six steps after I stopped running — completing just half of my planned mileage — my phone rang. It was the real estate lady, Delilah, calling to tell me that Brian and I got approved for the apartment we wanted so badly. The one with the pretty kitchen and the great views.

See? Pretty kitchen.

See? Great views.

I was so happy. I didn’t even care about running. I realized that I have so much to look forward to in the next few months, and if running a marathon on April 29 is going to add stress to that, it’s simply not worth my well-being.

I want to take a few weeks to just run. I want to wake up and run however far I want at whatever speed I’d like. I want to spend a Saturday running either 5 miles or 20 miles and be happy regardless of my weekly mileage total.

I was nervous to tell Coach Cane about my decision to bail on Eugene. I have never been a “quitter” and I don’t give up on things. But this time, I know I’m making the right decision, and yet I still wanted my coach’s blessing.

And I got it. He’s the best. “You’re not getting paid enough to do this if you’re not enjoying it,” he told me in an email he wrote from his vacation on his birthday. “It does not upset me,” he continued. “It would upset me if you stopped coming to workouts or stopped considering yourself one of the team.”

He said he wants to get me healthy and recharged mentally and physically, and then I will “PR and enjoy it.”

That sounds like a great plan to me, Coach.

I spent a long time on Saturday thinking about my new “No Eugene Plan,” and I felt good about it. It was like this huge weight had been lifted. I didn’t want to fly across the country — spending plenty of money on flights and lodging — to run a race I hadn’t properly trained for or been emotionally invested in.

There’s another race I have in mind in the meantime. It’s a bit later in the season and I’d have more time to recover from this flare-up, get over the burnout and re-energize. If it works out, great! I’ll keep you posted. If not, that’s OK. There’s always NYC in November, and you bet I’m going all out for that one.

I woke up early Sunday morning to spectate the heck out of the New York City Half Marathon. As my friends PR’d in both D.C. and NYC, I didn’t feel envy. There was no “I wish I had signed up for that race” regret. I was happy for my friends who set new records. More importantly, I was psyched to be on the sidelines, screaming like a total fan girl for my #1 runner!

I took this so seriously, you have no idea.

Brian has had a rough “training season,” if you can call it that. In fact, he didn’t really get to train for the NYC Half because he’s had a knee injury. But he was determined to push through this race (still not sure if I think that idea was noble or nuts), and push through he did!

How we found each other at the finish, I will never know.

Brian finished in 1:46, nabbing himself a 6-minute PR! I’m so proud.

As I stood at mile 13, screaming with the Runner Army cheering squad, I saw runners plowing toward the finish. They were hauling ass, determined to leave nothing behind on the course. I saw people surging with pride and people in excruciating pain, refusing to give up. It was so inspiring, and it was exactly what I needed to be surrounded by yesterday.

I know my love will come back. I know my knee and hip will heal. I know my stomach will be on the mend soon.

Everything will be great. I just need to not run a marathon right this second. And I’m fine with that.

Congratulations to all of this weekend’s amazing runners, especially all you first-timers!

101 Responses to "I Am Not Running The Eugene Marathon"

YES Ali I support your decision. You need to get back to loving running and not stressing out over every run, your pace, the distance, etc. And you need to give your body the rest it clearly wants. I know this must have been a really hard decision but it was the right one and I am REALLY proud of you. You will do that much better at the NYC Marathon because of this.

That’s okay! Sometimes just telling yourself you are on a break re- energizes you! In the meantime, you can post more about your cool apartment.

I was all ready to be comforting and huggy, but you don’t need it! Good for you for recognizing that short-term thinking was not going to make you happy in the long term. Rest, get well, see where your mind is at, and go from there.

(I think I need to take my own advice!)

First, I think this sounds like an amazing decision — running should be fun, and you know how amazing it feels when your mind and body are both 100% involved in your training. As the ever-wise Coach Cane said, you’re not getting paid enough to be miserable and dreading every run. Second, I’m so unbelievably jealous of your apartment. Loving and getting the first apartment you see is such an urban real estate myth. So glad everything worked out!

AmandaRunsNY says: March 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

I went through something similar last year after my marathon and I totally burned out and was sidelined with some major hip issues. I was down on running for like 5 months or something because I was just pushing myself to get faster instead of taking a break. Even when I did take a break from all the pain, I still wasn’t “loving” the run. It took finding your blog and all your first marathon excitement to remind me about how much I loved marathon training.

Just take your time and rest up. I pushed myself too hard through that phase and ended up in need of even more recovery than if I had just let up on myself post marathon. It is totally ok to rest up and give yourself a break! And have fun runs! And also do dumb things like have three glasses of wine and then wake up and do a slow run, or don’t start weekend runs until 3pm or not at all! The nice thing about running is that most people peak in their mid to late thirties so you’ve got lots of time for PR’s still.

Also, I think I saw you this morning on 85th. I was wearing a hot orange tank top.

AliOnTheRun says: March 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

Yes, that may have been me, walking home from Brian’s! But I didn’t see you :(

I have been an avid follower of your blog for nearly a year and have loved your run recaps, talk of Chisel classes and occasional pop into yoga. But, I do think you have demanded soooo much out of your body that I’m surprised that “a burnout” hasn’t occurred yet.

You deserve to take some time off, Ali! Run for fun… enjoy moving in with Brian… sleep in and heal your body! You have lots of people supporting you!

I think it’s harder to admit that we can’t do it all, than attempting to do it all and going crazy. You are already doing a crazy amount of stuff this spring on top of training for a marathon. Running should be fun and I’m sure once you give yourself a break that love of running will come back!

I’m so proud of you for realizing this and taking care of yourself! You need some Ali-time to enjoy all of the amazing things in your life without added stress. You will DOMINATE in November, and it will be on your terms because you’ll be able to have the peace of mind and rested body that you’re giving yourself now. Also, I really hope your new apt is upstairs from 16 handles. Or that you can convince Brian to install a frozen yogurt pull on the fridge. I’m all sorts of full of good ideas today!!!

I love everything about this. I think its a smart decision. I think coming off runner’s high mixed with Blogging about running makes us feel like, “what’s next? Where’s my next PR?”. Yet, sometimes being a better runner means listening to your body and not chasing the next PR. The good thing is there are a million more opportunities to chase that PR when your body and heart are truly ready for it! (I’m telling myself this as much as I’m telling you. I often seen to forget this…)

I am SO proud of you for making this decision, Ali!! I sensed the burnout thing happening for you in your recent posts and it made me sad – the Ali that LOVES to run suddenly isn’t so in love with it. A sure sign that a little break from training and running a zillion miles is a good smart move for you!! Like Coach Cane said – you WILL PR, but when you’re ready, and it’ll be amazing. Enjoy the next few months of non-training, enjoy the new apt (which is gorgeous btw) and enjoy this new stage in your life. It’s gonna be amazing, marathon or no marathon.

Sounds like the right decision, Ali. I really respect you for prioritizing the right things in life (your relationship, your health, your sanity) over the marathon.

I ran with my “I Heart Sweat” shirt yesterday—got some fun comments. Mostly of “I love sweat too!” Wahoo! The motivation I needed to get my PR of 1:59! :) Running 26.2 miles is tough, it’s even tougher if running isn’t fun for you. You are a smart runner Ali! Get better soon!

AliOnTheRun says: March 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

Yay! CONGRATULATIONS! That’s so exciting!

I love you and am so proud of you! Also, I miss you! I’m so happy you listened to your body and even more happy you are happy!! That’all that matters :)

I know how you’re feeling, as I just had to drop out of my spring marathon due to injury…It was supposed to be my first, so it’s been a pretty big bummer. But I got so frustrated with all of my bad, painful long runs that I just checked out. My half-marathon in D.C. had me stoked to race that distance again and I’m excited to tackle another next month, but I’m just not physically or mentally ready to handle 26.2 right now.

Lauren W. says: March 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

Congrats on the apt!!! That’s so exciting!! I know how tough it is apt hunting in the city, so that’s awesome you found somewhere.

Brian and I are twins too!! I ran a 1:46:38 yesterday—cutting 8:00 min off my time from Staten Island. So crazy! That was probably the best race I’ve ever run– I def felt really happy the whole time just looking at how many people were running it with me and how many people were out supporting it!

I find that most of the time the best decisions are the hardest ones, but when you feel that relief and weight lifted…you know you’ve made the right choice. Cheers to fun runs and all the exciting things to come in the spring!

AliOnTheRun says: March 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

Wow! That’s a HUGE PR! Congratulations, Lauren! Hope you’ve been celebrating!

I think you’ve made a great decision. You have so much going on and if you’re not feeling the run, definitely take a break. Everybody does. And I really think after a while of easy fun running, your obvious love of running and racing will come back strong! Take time to relax and really chill out- have fun with your runs (definitely nix the garmin on a few) and spin too.

I ran the NYC Half yesterday and got a 7 minute PB. It was so much fun. I didn’t see you specifically but there did seem to be quite a noise at the Engineers gate :)

Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now but I’ve never left you a comment. Well this post deserves a comment! You seem like such a hard worker when it comes to your running and fitness. But you’re right to not let one marathon jeopardize your health! There will be another marathon to train for but right now it seems like a better plan to take care of yourself. You should enjoy your training and look forward to the race. If you’re pushing yourself to the brink of burnout and exhaustion, it’s not worth it. I think you made a great call on the Eugene.
I am a new runner and it’s great to see someone in the running blogworld who doesn’t live their entire life around a race schedule.
Keep enjoying the run!
1 Timothy 4:8

I FEEL YA. This describes me two months after my first marathon in October. I was on a runners high to train again, but my body was just not having it. Luckily I was able to scale back and now do my long runs when I feel like it. BTW I want your neon leg warmers

I can completely relate to what you write. It’s easy to get lost in training and lose sight of why you are there in the first place: your love of running. A little time to recover and repair will definitely bring you to a sub 4:00 race, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

And, congrats on the apartment! It looks beautiful!

Feeling all smiles for you.

Hi Ali, you know what is best for your body and i am sure you are making the right decision for you. I don’t know you personally but i sometimes feel like your words come straight out of my head! I saw you on Sunday after the race and recognized you from the blog pics. I wanted to say that your blog is very inspiring and i love reading it and also think you are hilarious!! But i was too shy to do so… So here i am telling you now :) Keep it up and good luck with your future plans!

Good for you.

I must admit, it seemed like other people were somewhat pushing you into running Eugene, and either through comparison or pressure you felt that you HAD to run it no matter what.

I think your decision is totally admirable – anyone can be an idiot and run through injuries and pain (I know, I do it often enough) but it takes guts (no pun intended) to sit back and say ‘hey, I need a break, and I’m going to come back stronger from it.’

xxx

I agree, you should be running for you and not anyone else! I have no doubt you’ll PR in New York this fall. :)

P.S. My sister said she heard someone yell “Go Emilia’s twin!” by the reservoir during the half yesterday. Was it Ali?? haha :)

AliOnTheRun says: March 19, 2012 at 11:01 am

I’m so embarrassed by that. Yes, it was me. I saw her coming and got so excited and felt like an ass because in that moment, I COULDN’T REMEMBER HER NAME. So I yelled for “Emilia’s twin!!!!!!!” and she totally smiled at me. I’m the worst.

Haha, aw I’m sure she appreciated the cheers! She had a tough race. I’m sure you’ll see her again around CP, so for future ref, her name is Carla. ;)

Smart Ali, smart. Seriously. I read a lot of the comments and it sounds like a lot of us have gone through something similar. I took all of last year off from major races (half and full marathons) and it was amazing. It’s like you said, it is a huge weight has lifted after you make that call. I raced a lot of other little races last year (like 10 races!) and I still ran a lot, but was able to enjoy it without the pressure. AND after all that “time off” I am so, so, so pumped for this year’s races! I am sure you will find that same renewal! Chin up, girl, you made a healthy choice. In the mean time, enjoy your new crib! :)

Ah, this is exactly how I felt about grad school. I studied playwriting & haven’t written anything since (Coming up on 8 years now). It will come. I’ll be here when it does.

What an awesome post. I connected most to your observations about how racing used to feel fun, and now, notsomuch. I ran the DC RnR Half (my third 1/2) over the weekend, and despite hitting the wall at mile 10.5, I managed a 5 minute PR. I was incredibly happy, but later, amazed at how much I stand in my own way sometimes.

It’s absurd how much pressure I put on myself leading up to a race. I’m with you and hope to return to that earlier version of me that arrives at the starting line already knowing I’ve accomplished great things, and to just go; sweating happily without focusing on the math.

I think it takes more guts to drop out of a race when you know it’s not the best decision mentally or physically than to half heartedly run a race because you feel like you have to. It’s a tough choice, but it certainly sounds like the right one.

Yay for getting the apt! Yay for Brian!

Yay for taking a break!

Hi Ali,
This blog is one of my favourites. I think you are doing the best, and the bravest, thing by NOT running Eugene. Often the most difficult choices are the ones that are best for us. A couple of years ago, a very wise person told me, “If it isn’t making you happy, don’t do it.” While it was hard to hear, it made me re-evaluate so many things in my life. After a short time of doing nothing, I came back and started to enjoy a happy, balanced life. Congratulations on your beautiful apartment! I wish you lots of happiness and health. Erin

The right decisions are always the hardest to make. But I think you’re being smart here, girly! Feel better soon!

you absolutely did the right thing. you can’t deny what your gut is telling you. you can’t fake it either. i backed out of the vermont marathon in 2009 because i was burnt out and my heart wasn’t in it. as soon as i made the decision to not race, i fell in love with running again, because there was no pressure and no plan.

It is very hard to not run a race that you’ve signed up for. Big hugs for making this tough decision. But sounds like there’s a lot of other exciting things going on in your life. And hopefully you can squeeze in a spin class or two in the near future?

As I was running yesterday I thought that people were insane running multiple halfs. And even more insane for running even longer distances. But a day later, I think I’m starting to understand…

AliOnTheRun says: March 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

You are awesome. CONGRATULATIONS on your half! I want to hear everything about your experience. Spin date?

I feel the same way about the marathon in general. I’m old (probably almost old enough to be your mom ha, ha) and I have a family. Running the marathon really takes away from time with my family and all I would do is stress about long runs consuming my weekends. I’ve decided there’s nothing wrong with sticking to half marathons. I’m still a runner. You are too. It sounds like a great decision.

I love this post. It’s so much harder to stop than it is to keep going even though you’re not into it, right?? It sucks when everything doesn’t go as planned, but when does it ever? Stuff like this makes me realize how mental running can be, and I hate not feeling “into it” or enjoying my runs. I think your break is just what you need to heal on all fronts and will probably just make you stronger :)
AND when can I come over for dinner?? Rooftop party? So happy for you guys!

Christa Barlow says: March 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

Ali, you are a very smart lady! You need time to recover and heal. When I first started reading your post, I was so sad for you. I know you have tried to get over this. I really think a mental break from the training will help, too!

I think this is a smart decision – focus on getting (physically) healthy and take a mental breather. You’ve got a lot going on right now, and you should enjoy it!

Very smart move. I have no doubt that with the mental & physical break from marathon training and just relaxing and enjoying life that you are going to smoke it in NY in November! :-)

You made a good decision. Make running fun again. That is what it should be. It will come back :) Thanks for being out there cheering yesterday! I loved seeing you!!

Good for you. I can only imagine how hard it was but I’m so glad you already know it was the right decision. I think it’ll just make your PR that much sweeter when it happens.

Sounds like you are extremely confident in your decision! I am sure it was tough, but it is very obvious that you are at peace with what you decided and know that you made the right choice. Hope you feel better and look forward to reading about how much you love running again!!

Is it weird that I’m proud of you for making this decision? I think sometimes it’s harder (and smarter!) to admit that we can’t do everything than to push through it just because we don’t want to be labeled a “quitter.” I’m glad you’re listening to yourself and doing what’s best for you. I’m sure that means you will return to your next race feeling renewed and refreshed and ready to kick ass. Can’t wait to read about it!

This sounds really sane to me. Congrats for having perspective on things. I had an ankle injury while training for a half marathon last fall. I took some time off and then ended up with an MS relapse. I really think there is something to taking training breaks (like for injury or illness) and autoimmune relapses.

Good for you!! I ran my first marathon in October and I can completely relate to everything you’ve been feeling lately. I ran a half marathon this weekend that I didn’t train for because I just wasn’t into it (I didn’t bail only because I was running with friends/it was their first one). Now, I’m slightly injured and had a horrible experience running. I’m definitely taking some much needed time off and embracing the other exciting things that are happening in my life!

Congrats on the apartment!! So exciting : )

Totally get it. Totally respectable. Sorry about your flair up.
I actually just posted about my decision to quit the Live Fit trainer too. Working out just wasn’t fun for me anymore.

I love your story recapping your lead in to the marathon and training and why you decided to do these races in the first place. And it sounds like this was exactly the right decision. Go back to running for you, focus on the exciting time in your life and then revisit the next marathon, where you will surely PR the hell out of it. And I hope you feel better!

I think it’s very admirable that you can recognize when you aren’t burnt out and need a little break.

I ran my 7th half since October yesterday and my race sucked – admist all the suck i thought, “i think this is what burnt out feels like.” I didn’t care that I wasn’t PR’ing (and that’s not a normal feeling for me). I’m happy for a month break (last half is at the end of april) then I have the summer to run with no purpose, recoup & decide whether or not I want to take on a full in the fall.

Hope this is a short lived Chron’s flare up and that you are on the mend quickly!

I have been in your shoes a few times. You’re doing whats right for you and that does not mean you’re not a runner anymore or you’re going to stop chasing your dreams. Balance is key to longevity in the sport and from reading your blog it seems like you strive to enjoy life beyond logging miles. And I think that’s GREAT! There are always other races, always. Get healthy, have fun and keep following your heart! Congrats on the apartment!!

Ali, reading this brings such a smile to my face. You have no idea. I absolutely think you are doing the right thing and I think you will come back stronger and mentally fit to tackle your next challenge. We both have a lot to look forward to in the spring!!!

I so relate to this post in so many ways. I also went through marathon burnout pretty bad and yet continued to run them one after the other. I wasn’t enjoying the training, and at my last marathon (Boston) I wanted to drop out at mile 6. So yes, recharging mentally and physically is definitely the right thing to do! And hopefully this summer we can find shorter races that are FUN that we can do together like last year : )

Congrats on the apartment and that VIEW is amazing!!! xoxo

I don’t think it’s the leg warmers that are making you a super hero, but it’s the fact that you’re being honest with yourself. You have so much to look forward too – enjoy every moment. And congrats to Brian and his PR!

:) Smart choice, your body will repay you with a PR as soon as it’s ready!

Oh do I know what it’s like to have your body shut down on you as you get close to a goal… and even worse (for me at least) to have to let everyone know that you’re no longer working towards said goal.

I hope you’re feeling healthier soon! Screw you, Crohn’s disease.

While I’m super disappointed you’re not coming way over to “my neck of the woods”, I think you are so smart to make this decision. It’s not easy to make these kinds of calls even when they’re definitely the right ones and I totally applaud you! Congrats on the beautiful new kitchen and congrats to Brian on the awesome PR!

AliOnTheRun says: March 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

There’s always Eugene 2013 ;)

This can’t have been an easy decision, but good for you for making it. Running is so much more fun when you love it than when it’s a struggle. I hope you’re back to loving it soon. And congrats on that apartment!

Good decision. Running is meant to be fun. And you have a lot of running ahead of you. Do not feel like you have to accomplish every running goal this year. Sometimes you need to be in the moment and enjoy it – sounds like that is the time for you right now. Be a great Maid of Honor, throw an awesome baby shower, decorate the new place, and run because you love it, not because your training plan says so.

Marathon or not, if you feel good about the decision, then it was definitely the right one. Congrats to Brian on the PR and to both of you on the new apartment! Big weekend! Hope the flare-up chills out ASAP!

This is awesome. I’m training for my first half in 2 weeks and I can tell I’m burnt out. my cousin told me to just start tapering now and not next week and I felt such a relief to cut that 12 miler this saturday off my schedule. I’m so over-trained and can’t wait for my break after this race. I’ve definitely learned my lesson!

If you aren’t loving it, it’s for sure time to take a break!

janae@hungryrunnergirl says: March 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Girl, you are being so smart about this! It is hard to do the right thing sometimes when we put so much pressure on ourselves but you are recognizing that you are exhausted and need a break (plus Chrohns). There is always another race…always. Take care of the body you have and when you are back to enjoying running like you used to, you will get your pr. PS I just got your card and it made my day. Billy and I can’t get over how PERFECT your handwriting is.
CONGRATS BRIAN!! 6 minute PR wahoo!

Great post! Great decision! It’s so hard to walk away from a race even if you know it’s the best decision for you mentally and physically! Live to run another day :)

Elizabeth says: March 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Ali,
I ran the rock ‘n roll dc full this weekend after all sorts of nagging awful injuries all season, and you are totally making the right call. I PR’d but I didn’t get that sub-4 that we’re both chasing, and now I need to recover and re-ignite my love of running before the NYC marathon as marathons pretty much eat you up and spit you out. Let’s both get healthy and nab some 3:58s in NYC next fall, yes? Feel better!

Ali, I’m so proud of you for making such a tough decision to NOT run Eugene. Give your body time to heal and I’m sure you’ll get that PR in no tme. Of course Coach Cane was reasonable. You are lucky to have met him through Run for the Rabbit.
Congrats to Brian, again. I love how your skirt coordinated with the color of the race shirt. :)

I’m sure you’ve made the right decision, you know what’s best for your body afterall :)

x

Ali, glad you were able to make a decision that is best for your body and mind. Have fun this Spring with all the events going on in your life. Let your body heal and come back to marathon training refreshed and motivated!

This post sounds soooo familiar. Last fall I was burned out on running but had Portland Marathon I had signed up for wanting to PR at. Every training run sucked and I just started to despise it all. I finally made a choice not to run it and it was the best thing ever. I spent the entire fall falling back in love with running and finding that desire to WANT to train again – and that lead to where I am right now, training for the biggest race of my life and loving every second of it.

I hope you find that too and I know you will. Training for something when your heart isn’t in it is the WORST and no one should do it. You are setting a great example of this also… just because you sign up for something doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it. You want to train well, run with your heart and be ready when you get to that start line and you most definitely will be at whatever race you decide is next <3

Ali, glad to hear you are taking care of yourself!!

You will kill NYC this fall! I am sure! :)

BRAVA Girlie. Know yourself, listen to your body and do what makes you happy. <3

Hi girlie!!
these words gave me the goosie-bumps! definitely the reason why I run:
“As I stood at mile 13, screaming with the Runner Army cheering squad, I saw runners plowing toward the finish. They were hauling ass, determined to leave nothing behind on the course. I saw people surging with pride and people in excruciating pain, refusing to give up. It was so inspiring, and it was exactly what I needed to be surrounded by yesterday.”
thank you for these words! I have no doubt that you will find your love for running again! (very soon!)
and it will be more powerful than ever! :)
xoxo!

Sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the smartest decisions. It sounds like you’re weighed the pros and cons of running the marathon and are doing the right thing for you. We all aren’t perfect all the time — it’s okay, you’re human! Take care of yourself and settle into your new apartment (which looks gorgeous btw) with your lovely boyfriend. Soak it in. Running a marathon isn’t everything. You’ll be there again soon.

Elizabeth says: March 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Wow – that is a gorgeous kitchen! I bet Brian will totally be cooking you some fabulous meals there! ;) (PS – Congrats BrianOnTheRun! Smokin’ PR!) I hope your flare is short lived & I have no doubt you’ll have found new and fabulous ways to put the fun back in the run in no time! (might I suggest a relay a la RTB or HTC?? Running and cheering and costumes, oh my!) XO

You are setting such a great example for all runners, and I think we all can take a note from this…I know I sure can. It kills to not get the same kind of joy out of running that we’re used to—and we just keep running more and more trying to find it again. I think it’s really, really brave of you to not only realize you’ve burned out, but to take the steps to make it better. It takes a ton of guts to decide not to do a race, and I know for someone like you it’s not easy at all—but it makes you a smarter runner for doing so. And after all, what’s the point of waking up way too early every day and sweating through several miles if you aren’t enjoying it? Good for you girl, you have so much of my admiration.

Also, I have a doctor’s appt. this afternoon for my bad knee, and while I’m really terrified for some potentially bad news, this post made me feel insanely better about the whole thing. Thanks a lot :)

“How we found each other at the finish, I will never know.”

I’m thinking maybe your awesome skirt and legwarmers helped you stand out…just a tad.

Health comes first. It’s funny how running comes in phases. Sometimes we love it, and sometime our bodies just say no, not today. Hope you get better and get your love back!

Props to you Ali! I think you are making a good decision and I know how you feel. You will get better and love running again.

Good for you! Your body has been trying to tell you something & you’re listening to it. It’ll just make your future races even better. Bring back your love for running, rest, & feel better overall! BTW you are totally adorable with that sign for Brian!

Ailsa Mulligan says: March 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I’m glad that you came to this realisation before you got to my point which has led to a two month break from exercise :( I spent two weeks unable to get out of bed from exhaustion then after a rather worrying cardiology appointment was banned from exercise til I get the all clear! Take care of yourself! I want this blog to still be here when I don’t feel so bitter about reading about other’s exercise achievements! :P

Good for you for listening to your body – often the hardest thing to do. A marathon is hard enough without fighting everything else in your path right now- it should be fun and not a chore. Enjoy your time just enjoying…like I am enjoying my time with NO CRUTCHES IN THE OFFICE! Woo!

I think you made the right decision, your body will let you know when it is ready. congratulation on the apartment hope you guys be very happy there.

You have to do what’s right for you. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

Hi Ali. I’ve been reading your blog from Sydney, Australia since January when I was looking for some inspiration to keep me on track having just taken up running again, At the beginning of the year I could barely run and I’ve finally worked my way up to 5km. Whenever I struggle a bit I read your blog and you exude such positivity and such encouraging words that it makes me keep going, probably even more so when you are making though decisions like not to run a marathon. I hope when you have a bad day that you realize the effect that you have on people reading your words half a world away! Thanks for helping me on my own little journey into running – you’ve helped me more than you will ever know!

Good call on the marathon. Burnout sucks, and 26.2 miles is a massive burden of an undertaking to train for if you’re no longer enjoying it. Also, you’re an absolute machine to have trained through Crohn’s flare ups in the past, but given all that’s going on right now, your body will probably thank you for stepping back! Plus, you will love NYCM that much more if you just focus your energy to getting to that start line fully prepared.
Oh, and your new apartment looks AMAZING! that VIEW!! when do you move in?!

Such a tough decision, but it sounds like it’s the right one! I have SO been there though…I think even before I’d run the NYC Marathon I decided to run the RnR USA FULL Marathon. I was hyped up on running and thought it’d be SO FUN! Nothing like a little burnout (and injury) post-NYC Marathon to remind me to rein it in a bit. I ran the half instead, and had so much more fun doing that than if it’d continued training for the full. Good for you for doing what’s right for you! :)

I love your blog, but this is my first comment! I just wanted to say that I think you made such a good decision. Not the easiest one, that’s for sure. But now you’ll have a chance to let your body heal and have plenty of time to enjoy all the other fun things you have planned for the spring and summer!

Very smart decision and you will get that PR when you are healthy!! Love that you are always so optimistic and I am glad you didn’t try to push through the injuries!

you know whats best for your body and your life and it sounds like youre making the best decision. running is just a part of life, not life itself.
great job to brian on his PR!

Great attitude! If you are training for a marathon and not excited… it could be hell. Marathons don’t happen often so you might as well wait until you can enjoy it.

It takes a lot to DNS a race (or a bad back, whatever), but if your’e not feeling it and you’re facing injuries and lots of stress, then it’s better to save yourself. It’s hard because you WANT to rock the race, but sometimes things come up and you just can’t. There will be other races and more time for spin class instead. And for inviting me over to your new rockstar apartment.

Thanks for writing that. I had to stop running the LA Marathon last SUnday and stopped at Mile 10 because of my hamstring. For two miles I was beating myself up as I too am not a quitter. Then I decided seriously hurting myself probably was not a smart option.

Two weeks before my shoulder started hurting, Frozen Shoulder possibly. Your post made me come to terms that yes running is apart of me, but isn’t me.

The other day I came to the conclusion that maybe less is more and when I get better – truly recovered not the walking wounded – that marathons will be in the cards again.

Thanks for sharing.

I am planning on registering for the Eugene later today, have you ran this before?