Running to a Halt

As many of you know, I have been running since the beginning of 2010.  I have had some ups and downs as far as running, but for the most part: all has been good.  My last race was actually a 5K January 1st of 2011.  In that race, I ran my personal best of 23:11, which made me feel very good.  Before running this 5K, I had plans for running in a marathon in late March of this year.  I had been training since early December.  I would go and run after work, whether outside in the frigid cold, or inside on a treadmill, and get up early on the weekends to run long distances.  About two weeks ago, something in my brain seemed to turn off; I was no longer interested in running the marathon.  After going through eight weeks of training, I told myself: I’m just not ready.  Why was that?

Well, being that I just started running early last year, this was the first year that I have run in the winter.  Usually, when the temperatures drop below freezing, you’ll catch me bundled up in the house.  Due to my drive to run in a 26.2 race, I decided to suck it up and get the running shoes laced.  In order to be ready for the marathon in March, I would have to practice throughout the entire winter.

One major problem with running in the winter is the possible snowstorms that can occur, especially on the East Coast of the U.S..  Maryland was starting to get about 6-8 inches of snow with the possibility of ice.  This obviously made the trails impossible to run.  With the trails being impossible to run, I miss training days.  If I miss training days, I start to become less prepared and confident.  The less prepared and confident I feel, the lesser the possibility I am actually going to run the marathon.  You see where I’m getting at?

Another problem that halted me from running was the build-up of injuries.  For example, when I was running a 10-mile practice run, I developed a blister on my left foot.  This was pretty painful for a couple of days, and is hard to walk on.  I had already been dealing with a shin split from late last year which didn’t seem to get any better.  Even after healing the blister and the shin split, I still didn’t feel like that I could be at my best for the marathon.

As many postponed runs due to weather, injuries, and lack of interest, I decided to halt my training for the marathon.  It’s pretty hard, because in the back of your mind you’re saying, “I don’t want to be a quitter, I just can’t.”  I realize, however, that I still have plenty of time to run in a marathon.  I could possibly run in one this year, whenever the weather is much better.  I will still run in a 5K that I have planned for in March, but the 26.2 mile run will just have the wait another day.