Monday, April 18, 2016

Marathon Monday Talk

Hi everyone, and Happy Marathon Monday!  I'm sure most of you know what that means, but in case you don't- today is the day of the Boston Marathon!

With that in mind, I thought it was about time that I talk about my own marathon.  You might have noticed that I stopped sharing training updates a few weeks ago, and haven't really been talking about the race much at all.  With the race only 6 days away, I figured it was time to do some marathon talk.  I have to warn you- this post is pretty much a dump of all of my thoughts (with no pictures to boot), so I hope that some of it makes sense.

I decided not to run the Gettysburg Marathon.

If you've been following me this year, you know that this has been my goal race for the spring.  I've been training really hard, got PR's in all of the races that I ran in training, and was feeling great.  Then, a few weeks ago something changed.

It was around the time that Dan and I put in the offer for our house, and life just seemed to get real.  We were staying up late most nights filling out paperwork, meeting with contractors and inspectors, negotiating with the seller, on and on and on.  Buying a house is stressful- even worrying about money and figuring out how we would pay the down payment and closing costs was scary, then we had to figure out what repairs we could afford right away for the house to be safe, and what could wait.

With all of that going on, most days I just didn't have time to go running.  I know that I could have woken up early to run before work or go during lunch time, but I just felt exhausted all the time.  I had trouble sleeping at night (I'm one of those people who stresses at night and becomes an insomniac), and would come home from a stressful day at work and just want to stay in bed until I had to go to work in the morning.

Then about a week ago, I began to realize that I just can't handle it all sometimes. I'm completely fine with admitting that now, but there was a time (very recently) where I would have just fought through my stress and pain and exhaustion just to finish the race.  I was still thinking about doing that, and risking injury (right before a big trip, mind you) just say that I did it, and to prove that I could do it all.

For those of you with a blog or are on social media, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about- the fear of letting people down when you put a goal out there.  Before I had a blog, it would have been so easy for me to just not run.  Who would know or care besides my family?  Now, I always feel like I'm letting down my readers if I don't complete a race or don't get a PR.  I feel like I have to be perfect all the time, or I'm doing something wrong.

After I had this realization that I don't have to handle everything and the world will still keep revolving if I don't run the marathon, I immediately felt a rush of calm wash over me.  It felt like I was stepped out of a pool of quicksand and I was finally able to walk on regular ground again.  That is the best feeling ever, and I knew I was making the right decision.

Ever since then, I've felt so much more energetic during the day, and more like myself  Plus, I can quit playing the song "Stressed Out" over and over again ;).  I'm even helping out around the house, because I can't use the excuse of "I'm running a marathon in two weeks!" when Dan asks me to help him with manual labor!

Anyone still with me?  Or did you just jump down to the end of the post? Either way- Here's my "too long; didn't read" for this post: races will always be there, and sometimes it's just not the right time in your life to run one.  That's ok!  There's always a season for everything in life, and do what's best for you.  

linking up with HollyTricia and Katie

61 comments:

  1. I am proud of you! life comes first and you made the right decision for you. training is tough but buying a house? crazy stressful! those closing costs sneak up and the work on a house, moving etc is a hard time! I wouldn't be able to train for a race during it - there's always another race!

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    1. Thanks Meredith! So happy that you understand :)

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  2. Sorry to hear that you won't be running. But like you said races will always be there and you have to do what's best for you. Races can be very stressful. I am sure there is a sense of relief now.-L

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    1. SO much relief. Especially when I look at the forecast for the race...looks awful!

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  3. It is hard to make a decision like this, but it sounds like the right one. I know exactly what you mean about putting goals out there as a blogger. Buying a home and taking care of your future is more important than a single marathon race.

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  4. Tough choice, but like everyone else, so proud of you for making it. You do everything to the max in that you want to give it all of you, and ultimately, there is only so much that we have to give! xoxox

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  5. That's both the curse and benefit of sharing your life and goals in social media--it can help hold you accountable when you want to be but can always lead to decisions that aren't the best because you'd feel like you were letting people down. But that's just not true! I and I'm sure everyone else who reads your blog support you in whatever is best for you. Putting your body through a huge physical feat in the midst of stress and right before your wedding and travel when you feel like it's not the right thing to do doesn't sound like it's in your best interest. You definitely made the right decision because it felt right to you. There will always be races to run. I applaud you for choosing the right path right now!

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    1. You have just made a big breakthrough in realizing that you can change your mind. Just because you put a goal on yourself doesn't mean you can't reevaluate and decide that the goal you set isn't realistic at the moment. You have such a lot going on right now. I'm glad you relieved yourself of the extra stress of preparing for that run. Life is a series of choices.

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  6. That's a tough decision to make but it definitely is the right one- big events in life (buying a house/getting married) are stressful to begin with so I'm glad you're listening to your body/mind and not pushing yourself to a breaking point. I think readers appreciate you keeping it real and I'm sure a lot of them have been a similar situation before so don't worry about that!

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    1. I'm so happy and lucky that everyone is being so supportive! It's a tough situation to be in so I'm happy to have that support.

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  7. I couldn't agree more with you: running and races will always be there. You made the best decision for you at this time, and for that I commend you!

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  8. Thanks for sharing! As a reader and runner, it's great to read such an honest post about how running and training aren't always perfect. Listening to our bodies is super important and I can definitely relate to how you feel! It's tough to bow out of a race, but your body will thank you for it later!

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    1. I'm glad you liked this. I'm always worried to post something that puts me in a bad light, but I have to keep it real :)

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  9. Totally understandable decision! I can only imagine the stress and excitement of buying a house. That is far more important plus you have a wedding coming up too! When you're ready to race, I'm sure you will do extremely well!

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    1. Thank you! I'm already eyeing a fall full :)

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  10. Well, I'm proud of you Gretchen! I think you made the right choice, and sometimes in life it takes more discipline and guts to cut your losses than to suffer through something just to say you did it.

    I was supposed to run a second marathon last year, in the fall, but I was so burnt out from training for my Spring one that I just couldn't go through with the training. My heart wasn't in it, so I finally made the decision to drop down to a shorter distance. I too was afraid of how it would look to all my friends after I'd talked about the marathon so much, but the relief and happiness I felt once I switched distances was palpable. I think, like Jennifer said, being in the social media/blogging world is a blessing and a curse. It helps us push each other to new heights (I sometimes wonder if I even would have kept running after my first half marathon if not for the blogging world), but it has a dark side too.

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    1. That's exactly how I'm feeling right now- burnt out in life and in running. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way!!

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  11. Yep, it's all about balance. As you know I had to drop out of that half marathon last month because life got lifey. If I put running above all else all of the time then I would hope people wouldn't follow me because then I'd be setting an unhealthy example.

    I know what you mean about that peaceful feeling you got when you decided to not run it. That's when we know we made the right decision--it just feels right like ahhhh, that's better.

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  12. I dropped out of Big Sur (also 6 days away) about a month ago. I dropped out because I hurt my foot (like, yesterday was the first time in 4 weeks I've been physically able to run, and I made it less than a mile) but honestly, it was kind of a relief to have an excuse not to do it. Life is crazy right now and I'm the busiest I've ever been, and it was just getting harder and harder to find the time and motivation to run. I totally get that! I feel even more like I let people down, because I was running it for charity and my friends and family had already donated money to me, but I really wasn't excited about it or looking forward to it at all. It's still on my bucket list and I hope to get there one day, but I think my foot injury was the Universe's way of telling me that now just isn't my time. It sounds like you made the right decision, and I think we'll both find out on Sunday that the world *will* still keep revolving! :)

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    1. So sorry to hear that you hurt your foot :( I hope that it heals up very quickly, and I'm sure everyone will understand that you can't run the race!

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  13. I really needed a post like this today! Thanks for a great entry :)

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    1. Thank you so much Katrina! I'm glad this was helpful to you<3

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  14. I think you made the right choice for you. Having bought a house almost 2 years ago, I can 100% identify with the stress it's a fun, happy time, but man it's a ton of work. And I SO SO SO get the whole, fear of posting that you're giving up a goal on the blog, thing. Even though I am 100% sure readers wouldn't judge me/would understand, it's still scary to put it out there. I think a big part of it is a mental thing - once we post it , it's a reality.

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    1. I'm so lucky that everyone's being so supportive! I'm sure there are people out there that think I'm giving up or that I'm a loser for not running, and that's ok too!

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  15. Such a tough decision. I totally get where you're coming from on the blogging front. You feel like you're failing in front of a lot of people, some that you know, and some that you don't. It's REALLY hard admitting it to yourself and everyone else. But you're making the right decision at the end of the day. Moving is so stressful. I'm watching my parents do it and I don't know how they get it all done. Marathons will always be there for you.

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    1. Thanks Sarah :) Hopefully this is the last time in a while that I'll have to move!!

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  16. Realizing you can't handle it all is one of the best realizations, and I LOVE that you shared this. It makes all of us feel that we can continue to share all the ups and downs of life and the times we have to say, 'No.' It's not wrong to say, 'No,' at all, and it takes strength and character. <3

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    1. Thanks so much for this comment Emily <3

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  17. I respect you so much for this Gretchen! You have so many big and exciting things going on right now and training for a marathon will always be there. You know I'll always be rooting for you no matter what!

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    1. Thank you so much Amanda! And thank you for all the support :D

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  18. Gretchen,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are not doing the marathon, but I'm glad that you are making the decision on what is BEST for you. Never feel like you have to be accountable to us, your readers, we are here to support you and read your adventures, not to judge you or diminish any of your accomplishments.

    Enjoy the new home, the wedding planning and focus on what is best for you! There are always other marathons!

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    1. I'm so disappointed that I won't get to see you at the race! To be honest I was most worried about you being upset haha. Thank you for the kind words :)

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  19. Its always a bit of a bummer for me to not run a race, but you have to listen to your body! That is the best darn part about running- you can always come back to it! I think that's why I love it so much.

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  20. Such a tough call but one I'm so glad you made. Honestly I felt like that when thinking a bout the pittsburgh half. I knew that the stress would be too much with having a baby, but felt like I was letting my readers down. Life gets real, though, and running is extra stress on the body, too. When you're already stressed, it can be too much. Buying a house and fixing it up is SO stressful! I remember the days leading up to our closing and how things were just go go go and you didn't have time for anything else! It happens and there are more marathons you will CRUSH!

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    1. You had an actual reason though haha! I feel like I'm copping out, but that's what's best for right now. Thank you Heather!

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  21. Yes, races will always be there! I am proud of you and happy for you that you made the best decision for you. Ultimately, a marathon is just one race - which shies in comparison to the many exciting things you have going on in your life right now. I couldn't even have imagined training for a race during our move out West last year, which was less stressful than buying and repairing a house.

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    1. Exactly Laura. Thanks for understanding :)

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  22. I totally understand about not wanting to let others down or to feel badly about not finishing the goal you set. It was a tough decision for me not to run Big Sur but the world is still turning and life goes on!

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    1. When you announced that I knew exactly what you were going through! I think we both made the best decision.

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  23. Love your honesty! Marathons will always be there and it is better to do one when you are able to put the time forth, but life is so busy for you right now, it's best to soak it all in rather than stress about marathon training.

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    1. Thank you Brie! Exactly right..I don't want to feel like I'm missing out or not helping out enough.

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  24. You're so smart. Sometimes, you've just got let something go. Running marathons will still be there once life settles. Doing it in such a stressful time would just make it more work, not enjoyable like it should be.

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    1. Exactly..it was becoming the worst part of my day and I was just dreading it. Probably should have known right then that it was the wrong thing!

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  25. Good for you for listening to your body and giving it the rest it needs. Running will be there when you have the time and energy.

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  26. You are smart to realize their are things in life more important than running. Also, we all put goals out there and really, no one is judging whether a blogger does or doesn't do something. Relax!

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    1. But that doesn't mean you can't judge ME for all the typos I made in that last comment. Geeze, I didn't realize it was so bad till I read it back. Sorry!

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    2. I do need to relax haha! And no judging at all..I probably make lots of typos too :)

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  27. i have been in this situation much of the past 3 years - over committing to races (and other activities), under training and ultimately, transferring my registration because i wasn't prepared or couldn't handle everything on my plate. don't you worry your pretty little head about what people on the internet think about your actions - you gotta take care of you first! now, let's hang out and cheers your NEW HOUSE! :)

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    1. YES you get it hahaa! Next time I need to plan better and not pretend that I'm super woman.

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  28. I'm sure it was a hard decision but it sounds like you made the right call. I remember buying a house. It is so much work. Just handling the paperwork for the mortgage was like having a part time job, add to that home inspections and actually packing and moving? I remember missing quite a few runs and it was an off season for me so I already had extra rest days to work with. I was lucky in that condo we bought was pretty new and didn't need any work. I just read your day in the life post. You and Dan are going to be super busy for quite some time it sounds like!

    The best part about being a lifelong runner is that there will always be more races in the future. Completing this race wasn't a bucket list one and done sort of thing. And the training that you did finish is not going to in vain. You'll still benefit from the work you did if you choose a new goal race this fall or next spring.

    Enjoy being a first time homeowner!

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  29. I'm like you -- I don't sleep well when there are things to worry about. I know how that can impact your training too. You have nothing to prove to anyone. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself. You made the right call. Thanks for linking with us Gretchen.

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  30. I can not even imagine the mountain of paperwork you had to deal with buying your house. It's ok to be real with people, none of us are perfect and we all go through things that for whatever reason don't allow us the time or mental ability to train. I'm glad you found peace with your decision and I think it's the best decision for you! Take care Gretchen.

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  31. It's difficult to be a "slave" to a training plan and still do "life". You do what's best for you and so be it. Wishing you well with the new house!

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  32. It's difficult to be a "slave" to a training plan and still do "life". You do what's best for you and so be it. Wishing you well with the new house!

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