Why I Deferred My Spring Races and What’s Next
Last fall, I realized I wasn’t dealing with my grief very well. I made the decision not long after that running the 2017 Chicago Marathon wasn’t in my best interest, seeing as how the race was about four weeks away and I hadn’t run more than a few miles at any one time since the River Bank Run 25k in May. Even though I’d known for awhile that I should run the marathon, I fought against it for a long time. Running was – and is – such a part of my identity. I loved the idea of running it, but my heart wasn’t there. I tried convincing myself to just go and try. See what happens. Fortunately, I got out of my own way and made the right decision. There will be other marathons.
But, I still tried forcing myself back into some semblance of the “old” me. Distance running will never come easy for me, but I love the challenge. As a former fat kid who struggled to run the mile in high school gym classes, I loved shedding that identity. So, I registered to run a couple races – a half marathon and, once again, the 25k. I had plenty of time to get back in shape, to rediscover my love of running. I suppose I never really lost that love, but it’s hard to get excited about running when three miles feels like my own personal Everest.
Once the races were on the calendar, I worked backward and wrote out a training plan. I had time for some base building, to get to a point where three miles felt comfortable once again.
I had the plan, but my grief had other ideas. Couple that with a brutally cold Michigan winter and the only marathons I did for several months were of the Netflix variety. The desire and motivation never bubbled up past that initial registration phase. I loved the idea of the races, but it never went beyond that. Much like with not wanting to give up on the idea of Chicago, in registering for these races, I was trying to force myself back into things routines and challenges I wasn’t ready to handle. Stubborn can be my middle name sometimes.
Last week, I decided to defer my entries to 2019 and it felt like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. Undoubtably, this felt like the right decision.
In my race registration frenzy, I also signed up for the Grand Rapids Triathlon in early June, taking on the sprint distance. Unlike the half marathon and 25k, I am truly excited about this race. The thought of training feels like a much needed breath of fresh air. I participated in this triathlon in 2016 and I am looking forward to taking on the course again. Plus, I’m excited to earn another one of those massive medals.
I started training this week and am really determined to get a massive PR. Well, I’m aiming for massive, but I’ll be happy with a PR of any amount. Given that I didn’t get in the pool at all before the 2016 race, I’m already ahead of the game since I swam once this week. Don’t worry, I’m planning on doing plenty more laps before June.
While my spring isn’t looking quite the way I envisioned, I’m completely confident with how things are falling into place.