Since getting sick a month ago I’ve found it hard to recover and get myself back to what my fitness levels were. I’m still lifting lighter in the gym, I’m finding my muscles need significantly more time to recover, and running is tough.
I ran for the first time last Thursday and I was really proud. I only ran two kilometers but my pace felt OK just under seven minutes, and I accomplished it outside. But it wasn’t easy. And the thought of running more than two kilometers felt really daunting. All last week I thought long and hard about whether or not I would be in marathon shape by the end of May and as much as I hated to admit it, I knew I wouldn’t be.
For me, marathon number two holds a purpose. Marathon number two is supposed to be really enjoyable while knocking a bunch of time off my only standing record. I knew that it was going to take me more than 12 weeks to get to where I needed to be after three weeks off, and I knew I wouldn’t enjoy the race. Above all else, continuing to love running is the most important part of running.
So yesterday morning I quit my marathon training plan, loaded up a plan for the half, and this morning I officially changed my distance with the race. Honestly, it makes me really sad and it feels like I’ve failed myself. However, if I was talking to anyone else in my situation I would tell them that they’re making the right decision – that it’s the smart thing to do. I don’t want to hate running, I don’t want to end up with an injury, and there will always be another marathon.
But now I’m going to shift my focus to the half and all of the great things about the half. I’ve run enough of them now that I know I could get myself into half marathon shape in eight weeks if I needed to, so 12 makes me feel pretty comfortable. I’m also going to reach for that PR. I know that if I work hard enough and push myself hard enough on race day (I have issues with letting myself be uncomfortable) I can shave quite a few minutes off of my previous times. Plus, I’m still going to be running in my favourite city.