Back in November I signed up to run the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon. The reason I did that is because I wanted to get back into the habit of cardio exercise regularly, in order to lose weight. And, having something to work toward keeps me motivated. And, I do really like to run.
So, from November through January, I concentrated on getting to the point where I could run 3 miles without having to walk. Then, I started officially training training for the Mini at the beginning of February, slowly ramping up my miles. My routine was to do two training runs during the week and a long run on the weekends.
It started out well. But, as my mileage has been increasing, I’ve begun to really struggle, and I’ve especially been dreading my longer runs, mainly because I have to devote so much time to them.
I am a very slow runner. I really can only find an hour for exercise during the week, and all I can get done in that hour is 4 miles. I should be doing 6 miles right now on my weekly training runs, and since that takes me 90 minutes, but I only have 60 minutes in the morning to spare, I’m behind. And, on the weekends, I’m having to devote 2 hours to just running.
Another problem is that when I do the longer runs on the weekends, I’m utterly exhausted afterward. I get done with the run, go home, and nap for a couple of hours, and when I get up, I’m sore and I don’t feel like doing anything. So, my entire day is shot. I’m looking at my upcoming social calendar, and pretty much all of my weekends are booked, and I honestly have no idea how I’m going to be able to devote 2+ hours to running plus the time it takes to recover from that run every weekend.
And, probably the most important thing here is that I am no longer enjoying running. I have found myself dreading having to do a training run. And, when I get done, I’m sore and tired. I don’t have that feeling of accomplishment because I still have so much farther to go to be ready, yet it doesn’t feel like I’m making progress. That’s what I miss the most…enjoying the run and the feeling afterward.
So, I’ve made a decision. I am not going to run the Mini. I’m going to concentrate in improving my pace and I will instead run the Indianapolis 500 5k, which is the same day as the Mini. This way, I’ll still get to run and I still have something to work toward to keep me motivated to keep going to the gym. But, I won’t have to devote so much time to exercise, and I hope to begin enjoying it again.
I have run a half marathon before, believe it or not. In 2006, I ran the IU Mini, which has become known as one of the hardest half-marathon courses because of all the hills. But, at the time I was training for it, I was about 70 pounds lighter than what I am now and I was in the best shape of my life. Perhaps when I get faster and won’t have to devote as much time to training, and when I’m in better shape, I’ll consider tackling a longer distance.
I do not feel like I am quitting or making any kind of concession. In fact, I know I’m saving myself in a way…because if I continued on trying to get to 13 miles in this manner, I’m sure I’d get so frustrated that I’d probably quit altogether.
And, most importantly, I am very proud of myself. I can run 3 miles without walking. There are quite a few middle-aged, overweight folks who can’t say that! 😉