Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why I Decided Not to do a Full Marathon

Earlier this year, I was pretty excited about the prospect of doing a full marathon for my birthday. I remember how exciting it was when I crossed the starting line for my first full marathon 10 years ago! I was nervous about finishing, I was worried about walking it alone and I was a little worried about how much water to drink.

At the finish I felt fantastic! I felt stronger than I have ever felt in my entire life! I was thinner than I had been in years. All of those months of training were worth it. I felt totally invincible. After that, it was so easy to turn 40!

Those positive feelings also helped me to completely forget how hard it was to finish those 15-, 18- and 20-mile training walks.

Last week Deb and I did a 10-mile walk in preparation for the Indy Mini half marathon coming up in May. It was a little tough to do the 10. I really could not understand why it was hard, I've walked farther and the half in Arizona in April was great! The thought of doing more than 10 miles is overwhelming.

The last time I did 8 miles alone, it was pretty rough mentally. Even with a great audio book, I could not imagine walking twice as far.

The other night I said to my husband that I was not sure I wanted to do another full marathon. "I don't want walking to take over my life," I said. He laughed at me. "It's a little too late for that, don't you think?"

OK, walking has not really taken over my life, though it is a really important part of my life. I walk several days a week with long walks on Saturdays. If I were to train to walk another full marathon, and I was doing 20-mile training walks, THAT would take over my life! (Again!)

Instead, maybe I can plan a couple more "half" marathons. It won't be the same feeling of major accomplishment, but for the most part, I'm feeling pretty good right now. I've lost weight, I'm walking regularly, I eat healthier -- I don't "need" a marathon to feel I've accomplished something special.

So, my final decision for 2010 is no full marathon this year. I reserve the right to change my mind in 2011.

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