Lacing Up at 60,  Midlife Women,  Women Running

What Happened and Why I Quit

It’s been a decision in the making the past three weeks.   I knew things just weren’t right. I had a gnawing feeling in my gut, and my thoughts were quietly eroding my psyche as I struggled before I decided. I didn’t want to be a quitter (who does?) and fail at something I started so enthusiastically a few months ago. In the beginning, I was so excited and motivated– what happened? My program obviously didn’t work, my self-talk didn’t keep me inspired, and the books didn’t have the right answers. I fell off the track and now I feel like a failure. For a couple weeks, I didn’t share my frustration with anyone. I just steeped quietly in my toxic mental juices.

My BIG decision…I am NOT running the December 6th Sacramento Marathon as I committed to out loud here a few months ago. I quit. I failed. I didn’t do what I had committed to do. Ok then….so what, now what?

Is there anything salvageable about this experience? I’d like to share with you what happened and what I feel I learned about myself in the process.

  1. My plan didn’t work. I started out strong. Had both a paper plan and an   iphone app to keep me going. I was working my plan really well for the first 10 weeks out of 18, then life got in the way. In late September, I was back east with my son and his family for a couple weeks. That was ok—still stayed on my plan. (My son is one of my strongest supporters!) Then my husband and I went to SC for a golf vacation and spent several days stuck in a condo as record rains poured down (nearly 20 inches in 3 days), flooding streets, keeping us inside and derailing my running plans. I tried using the treadmill in their little workout room. It malfunctioned and I nearly flew off when it stopped randomly during my indoor run! I was very lucky I didn’t get hurt.
  2. Then my marathon running pal took a bad fall and needed shoulder surgery. The surgery suspended her running until next spring when the doctor will give her the ok to run again. Although we didn’t train together, I had known we would attend this event together. Suddenly the idea of being there without Kathie felt really lonely. (my husband would drive up and root me on, but it didn’t feel the same not to have a friend who’d done this event before to hang out with beforehand.)
  3. By the time I returned from vacation, I was nearly 3 weeks behind my training schedule. I’d not only missed my shorter weekday runs, I missed 2 long weekend runs and knew I just couldn’t make up those long miles. Plus my pace had slowed, my breathing felt labored, and I just wasn’t making any progress. Ugh!
  4. For the first time ever, the marathon offered a deferral option, where if we cancel, we can carry forward the registration fee to the next year. To me, it felt like a gentler way out. It felt like a “not right now” instead of a “never”. So I took the deferral yesterday and feel so relieved today. I made my decision. Onward!

My next blog is about what I learned about myself in the process.



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