This is a blog post that I definitely didn’t want to write and as I wrote it, the tears came back. After a lot of deliberation and weighing my options, I have decided not to run the 2015 Boston Marathon. As many of you know, I qualified back in May of last year, and was ecstatic, thinking that I would never have the opportunity to qualify. I registered and got in and B and I immediately booked our trip there. I started training in December and January. If you read my recent post, at the end of January B and I found out I was seven weeks pregnant. This explained my slower running throughout the month and me feeling ‘off’. After the news and approval from the doctor, I spent all of February trying to get in my long runs in and focusing on my mileage. It was very difficult and I was miserable every time I ran, which was very hard for me. I’ve never not liked to run and struggling so much, feeling horrible and not enjoying it was a new feeling for me. I gagged a lot and could only run very short distances.
At the beginning of March, I thought that I would work on starting over and not worrying about my miles as much, and I was entering my second trimester, where everything was magically suppose to get better. I tried to run and every time I ran I would only make it 4 miles before I would walk and not be able to run anymore. The first mile would be okay, after a bit of gagging, I would feel fine, the second mile would be great and then third mile would be fine, but right as I hit 3.5 miles, my body would just stop running, so I would finish the four miles and walk the rest of the way home. Just the other day I felt so good and was over zealous thinking I could easily do a 6 miler! I did a longer loop and just like normal, I had to stop at 4 and walk the 2 miles home.
After three weeks of attempting to run more than 4 miles and not succeeding, I started to grasp the reality that I was not going to be able to run Boston this year. I knew it was always a possibility in the back of my mind, but never thought it would actually happen and I would have to make this decision. I thought I would feel better or at least be able to run 10-13 miles and then I could walk the rest of the race, but four miles is a very, very long distance from 26.2 miles. I also have a very sensitive stomach (I take 3 Imodium when I run a full marathon) when I run and knowing I didn’t had the opportunity to practice fueling while pregnant also helped me make my decision. It was a very, very emotional decision and the first time I talked about it out loud with some one I could barely even say the words because I knew it was finally true. I wouldn’t be at the starting line on April 20th.
It has been hard because it’s the first question people ask me when they find out I’m pregnant. “What about Boston?!” and recently, I’ve had to hold back tears telling them about how I cannot run this year. As I talked about it with friends and family, they are all supportive either way but I know that at the end of the day if I cannot run more than 4 miles, it would not be a wise decision to attempt to run a full marathon. As the days continued to rapidly count down towards the race I knew I had to make a decision one way or the other. I was really upset at the time, but things have gotten easier and knowing that I qualified and have a new marathon PR still means so much to me. I know I wanted to run Mountains to Beach and leave everything out there, which I did and that race will always have such a special place in my heart. This year, April 20th, will probably be one of the hardest Bostons for me to ever hear about, but I know there will always be more marathons to run and I do hope to run it one year in the future, this just isn’t my year.
I know in the big scheme of things that come September there will be a lot of joy in my life from our new family member and my new running partner, and I know long-term this decision is the best one. After I finally made the decision that I wasn’t going to run and we canceled our hotel room and flight to Boston, I feel so much relief and I knew that I was making the right decision. It definitely stings a lot, but my running lately has felt a little bit more free, instead of the pressure of running with the mindset that I’m so far away from my training plan and how am I ever going to run Boston, now I can enjoy my 4 milers and just be happy I can run at all.
I really appreciated the comments on my last post and the people who reached out to me regarding my decision. I also found these two articles (1, 2) to be really, really helpful. Here’s to all the four milers I have left to run until September and to those running Boston, cross the finish line with pride!