July 23, 2014

Why I am deferring Marine Corps Marathon

When my email acceptance from the Marine Corps Marathon arrived earlier this year, I was ecstatic.  Having watched Christine train and run this special race last fall, it was on my bucket list of marathons  And to be lucky enough to win the "race lottery" the first year I tried to gain entrance made me feel very fortunate.

Christine sure made it look fun!

After a brief discussion with my running coach, it was placed on my race calendar along with the Rock 'n Roll Dublin, the Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach relay and the Tower of Terror 10 miler at Walt Disney World.  Maybe that does not sound like alot of races to the average runner, but recently I had an epiphany that this might be too ambitious a fall race calendar for me. Since training for the Goofy Challenge in 2012, in preparation for the January 2013 half marathon and marathon, there has been little break from running in my little world.  Racing has been so much fun, especially completing so many runDisney challenges over the last year including Dumbo, Dopey and Glass Slipper.

Here is what I learned from doing some research on the internet.  I found several great pieces on this subject including this one from Hal Higdon.  Most serious runners compete/run two to four marathons per calendar year.  They give there bodies plenty of time to recover and let's face it, this group is half my age. While my last marathon was March 16, 2014, I certainly could run the Marine Corps race in October.  But as a highly competitive individual, I know that I will be under trained due to my vacation plans and the other races on my calendar.  I did get some help in adjusting mileage to be able to run one long run of 20 miles, but quite honestly, it seems like a real push for me to be minimally trained for race day.  And so I made the decision.  I will defer my entry and hopefully be ready to tow the line for the 40th anniversary of Marine Corps Marathon in October of 2015.  Secretly, I hope that my sidekick will be there to run it with me too!
(Pam)


37 comments:

  1. Great decision! and good for you for listening to what's best for your body/schedule! You have so many exciting races on the calendar this will be a good one to save for another year :) Maybe you and C will run together?!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. Karen, that is my hope that Christine and I can run together in 2015!

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  2. You made a wise decision. If you do not feel like you are going to be well trained you will have more of a chance for an injury and be even longer. That's great you can defer it til next year. Maybe the medal will be even more unique since it's the 40th anniversary:) -L

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    1. Lacey, I am hoping the medal will be extra special in 2015!

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  3. Pam, that's a smart decision to listen to your body and to realize the races that are coming ahead. It's also very cool that you will be able to run it on it's 40th anniversary year, which will make it that much sweeter.

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    1. Thanks Sarah, It is hard to defer, but I know it is the best choice for me.

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  4. Sounds like the right choice to me, Pam. Right now, I'm sticking with the "two per year" plan...and I'm not running Disney in January because I'm running Chicago in October and am thinking about LA in March (it coincides with Mary's school vacation).So even if I just ran the Disney full - which is what I considered originally - I don't think my body would like me running three marathons in six months.

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    1. Smart choice Pete. Running more than two marathons during a six month period would be alot of stress on any runner. I will be anxious to hear about Chicago....it is another on my bucket list.

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  5. Great decision, Pam! Even though I'm volunteering at MCM this year and would love to see you, you've got to listen to your body and your intuition. I feel like I've been trying to cram a whole bunch of halfs in my fall schedule and I'm starting to realize now that that is a little too ambitious, especially with Goofy right around the corner.

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    1. I did not know you were volunteering this year Sarah. Sad I won't see you in DC, but this really is the best decision for me.

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  6. I'm sure the decision to defer was difficult, but it sounds like it was the right one! You are a running machine! And it might be nice to give your body a little "break." Plus I'm a sucker for anniversary years any way lol

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    1. Thanks so much Kellie. I felt like a machine over the last 12 months, but now I am going to have an easier fall and then lots of fun training for my race in April!

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  7. It's the right decision for you. I'm doing MCM this year as my first, after reading Christine's report from last year! I'm excited, but sad that I'll miss seeing you!!

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    1. So exciting that MCM will be your first Jennifer. Christine raved about the race and I do hope she will be running it with me in 2015!

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  8. It sounds like you made the best decision for you! You'll be there next time stronger than ever!

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    1. Thanks Mindy. I am excited that they allow deferrals.

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  9. Definitely sounds like the right choice. I know a decision like that was probably hard to make, but it's really good you can recognize when it needs to happen! That is awesome you'll be doing the 40th anniversary race next year!

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    1. I am excited about the anniversary Lauren, but clearly that did not weigh in on my decision. This tired old lady runner just needs a little break from the marathon distance.

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  10. Good for you for knowing when to say no. It's really hard, because running races is fun. I'm glad you are able to defer and will get the opportunity after Boston!!

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    1. It is hard to say no, but definitely the appropriate choice.

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  11. Good for you on making a decision that works best for you and your body! I applaud you. Sad I won't get to "run" with you BUT I'll hopefully see you in VA Beach for RnR!!!

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    1. We definitely need to meet in Va Beach!

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  12. You have to make the best decision for you. I'm thinking of throwing my name into the lottery for MCM and for Chicago in 2015 and seeing what happens. Who knows...maybe we'll all meet each other at MCM 2015!

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    1. That would be awesome Jennifer. I hope Christine tries and gets lucky with the lottery too!

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  13. Good for you! As runners, it's SO easy to get swept up in the excitement of racing and new challenges, but sometimes we have to step back and really think about the stress marathon training/running puts on our bodies. It's a tough decision to make, but sounds like you're doing what's best for you. You already have a LOT going on this fall! You'll kill the race next year! :-D

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I'm excited to follow your training to NYCM. That is also on my race bucket list!

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  14. I love your smart and realistic approach. That's the beauty of being a wiser aged individual. I often want to tell some folks that perhaps they should say no to running ALL the races but I used to want to do that too and I did and my running never improved but I was okay with that for a while. Now I agree with your approach. Make the races you DO run count and be prepared for them. It allows you to honor yourself and respect the race so that you can really enjoy it and give it your all when the time is right.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I do feel the same way and while there are races I run "just for fun", since I moved to a new age group I try to place so that gives me something to focus on.

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  15. Sounds like a smart decision, based on longevity and not instant gratification (or at least, as instant of gratification as one can get with racing). I think your body will thank you in the long run.

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    1. Me too Jennifer. I want to run alot more years and stay healthy while doing it.

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  16. Pam, you are so wise! I think it's so easy to get caught up in the race excitement and try to do all the races you want without too much of a break in between. I know it happens to me. I've seen my 2 pregnancies in 3 years as a blessing because it's made me chill out on the race front. But now that babies are behind me, I'm going to need to remind myself to take an "off season" of several months or more every once in awhile!

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    1. When you read about the really fabulous African runners, they take a month off twice a year and do nothing but enjoy their families and food. It sounds like a great plan to me!

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  17. Kudos to you for making the right decision for you. Its often hard to make the decision that's in our best interest, especially when it comes to races since its so easy to get swept up in the excitement of races. MCM will be there for you in the future, and hopefully your running partner in crime in share in the experience with you.

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    1. Fingers crossed Kathryn that C will be running and maybe you will be too!

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  18. Glad you made the right decision. Who knows...maybe Christine will be there with you next year, just like you said!! :)

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    1. Thanks Karen. It is always good to feel happy about a decision like this.

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  19. I'm sure it was a tough decision to make, but at least you can defer your entry so you can run it next year. Carefully picking your races is a much better idea than running too many, getting injured, and then not being able to run the rest of them. Good luck!

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