It takes a lot to get through to me apparently.
Last year, a year ago today actually, I made the decision to not run the Harbison 50k. My body was ready for a break from the long slog of marathon training.
Today I reached a similar point, a point that I’ve known that I’ve been heading towards for several weeks. Just like when I made the Harbison decision, when I made the decision today I immediately knew that it was the right one.
So, what’s this decision?
Come February 8th, I will not be running the inaugural Hilton Head Island Marathon. Instead I plan to drop down to the half, my fourth HHI half marathon.
Here’s my reasoning. (It’s very similar to my reasoning for using a skeleton training plan for the marathon.) First, my body (or mind) is not ready to dive back into marathon training. I didn’t think that I would get to this point but right now the idea of increasing my milage again doesn’t sound appealing at all. I’m also still battling a wonky right knee/IT band. It’s “fine” but probably wouldn’t be if I kept pushing.
Second, I have been training for something since August 2012: Savannah Rock n Roll, Harbison 50k (temporarily), Hilton Head Island Half Marathon, San Francisco Marathon, and the Marine Corps Marathon. It’s time to step back from pushing the envelope for faster and faster times.
Third, I don’t have to run two marathons a year. This sounds odd, I know, but hear me out. I’m a competitive numbers person. I always want to do better than last time and I want to do better as many times as I can racking up as many miles as I can along the way. I knew that could/would lead to burn out so backing off is a good way to prevent that. Also, I will be perfectly okay if I don’t run a marathon in every state or even rack up as many marathons and miles as I possibly can. I was arbitrarily putting the pressure on myself to run at least two marathons per year because I wanted to run 50 marathons before I got too old.
I’m pretty sure there were a few other things rattling around in my head while out on my run but like usual those ideas didn’t make it home with me to get spilled out onto the Internet.
So, for the first time since I started running, I’m embracing the “off-season.” I think it’ll be good.