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Why I’m Not Running A Marathon In 2012

*Edit- I apologize for the super long title showing up in Reader. There was a glitch in Ecto and didn’t catch it until after the post was published. :( *

Reading through my goals for 2012, you see that I have a lot of fitness goals for this year. They all are feasible and well within my reach, but I will definitely be busy this year.

However, there is one goal that is noticeably absent…

Screen shot 2012-01-04 at 9.11.57 PM.jpg

Judging by the amount of people who have commented to me about it on Twitter the past few days, it seems like some of you are surprised that I will not be tackling 26.2 miles in 2012. If you have been reading for a while, you know that I was 19 weeks through training for the Chicago Marathon last year when I had to stop due to a stress fracture.

I resolved that I would recover and make the Walt Disney World Marathon this Sunday my first marathon, but dropped down to the half for various reasons. Then I said that I would attempt to run Chicago again this year and left it at that.

Yet, running a marathon in 2012 didn’t make the list….why?

This decision came from careful thought and rationalization, but it was not easy. What it came down to was these few points:

  • I’m tired of being injured: Let’s face it, being injured sucks and I was the poster child for injuries in 2011. I love running, but my body does not seem to feel the same way. Everyone has different limits as to what their bodies can handle and apparently my body cannot handle a lot of mileage. Admittedly, many will say that less than 30 miles per week (mpw) is very low, but the mid-20’s is about as many mpw my body can handle right now. When I start creeping towards the 30 mpw, that is where I hit trouble. I’m not saying that I like it, but I am embracing it and learning to deal with it.
  • I want to strengthen my body: From speaking with other marathoners and coaches, training for a marathon wrecks havoc on the body. I want to use 2012 to get my body in the best shape it can be in before tackling a marathon in 2013. This includes figuring how why I seem susceptible to stress fractures whether it be a calcium deficiency or something else. I don’t want to keep running (pun intended) from one injury to another and I need to figure out the root of my problems. I’m not saying that not running a marathon will prevent another injury from popping up, but it may reduce my chances.
  • Honestly, I have other goals: With all of my time off from running last year, I fell in love with cycling. This sparked a new desire to complete a triathlon and see how I do with the new challenge. Doing a triathlon definitely takes me out of my comfort zone, but I am excited to see where this leads me.

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  • My better is better than your better: This is my phrase for the year. No it is not meant to be cocky, but what I mean is that I really want to be better than I (and others) ever think I could be. I want to do well at the half-marathon distance and I may never be as fast as these speedy bloggers, but I know that I have a lot more in me. I know that I can break a 1:50 half-marathon and even a 1:45- but it will take hard work and dedication. I don’t want to (excuse the language) half-ass my training for races or triathlons. If I want to do well I have to focus on one goal and one goal only.

I’m not going to say it won’t be difficult come October when others run the Chicago Marathon. Of course I’m going to wish I was there running it and I am set on it being my first marathon, but Chicago will still be there in 2013…waiting for me to kick asphalt!

Remember, you don’t have to run a marathon to be a runner!

And don’t worry- there will be plenty of asphalt kicking in 2012! I have big goals even bigger than I’ve made public so far…but that is for another day. ;)

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3 Responses to Why I’m Not Running A Marathon In 2012

  1. Good reasons all around, Katy!

  2. Overall, I think this is a great decision, and one that I’m trying to make right now too. I’ve always wished I had one specific thing that I was awesome at, but I have a lot of interests all vying for my attention. Focusing on one event should hopefully let you see just what you can do when it’s getting 100% of your effort.

  3. You shouldn’t have to make excuses for NOT running a marathon.

    By the way, where was your stress fracture? In you foot? Do you know which bone? I never knew this before I started minimalist running, but bones actually get stronger when you stress them, so long as you give them plenty of time to recover after big stresses (long runs).

    You might want to consider the Run Less, Run Faster program (I wrote about it here). It only has three runs per week, and you supplement with two cross-training days (which can be swimming, biking, rowing, or anything else cardio) to give your body time to recover from the runs (and thus be less likely to be injured). I’ve done the program for the Disney Half, and I should definitely PR (and by at least 6-7 minutes, and I wasn’t really starting from a very good base) so three runs is definitely “enough” running (although it feels weird at first)

    Good luck at Disney! I’ll look for your shirt!

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