Decisions are hard

It would be so much easier to let someone else make decisions for me. Decisions are hard. Sometimes I have deep heart-to-hearts with myself. Sometimes I talk things out with a friend. I always pray for guidance. But no matter how you go about it, actually pulling the trigger on a decision is scary!

And so, I sit here at a cross roads.

Do I do it? Do I give up on it all together? Do I put it off?

And after a lot of soul searching, praying and talking things out with a close friend, I’ve made a decision. I’ve said it out loud and I’m surprisingly at peace with my decision.

And yet, I’m still hesitating pulling the trigger and making it public to family, friends and the Internets.

Here goes.

I have decided not to do the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon this year.

I’m just not where I want to be physically, to even consider doing a marathon in less than 10 months. It would be different if I wasn’t 80lbs overweight. It would be different if I wasn’t just now building myself back up to running a 5k distance without stopping to walk. It would be different if I wasn’t recovering from a nasty bout with plantar fasciitis and dealing with a pesky knee that decided to start acting up this week. It would be different if I had been injury-free for the past year and ran the two half-marathons and countless 5ks I registered for.

The deck has been stacked against me. And I’ve got to play with the hand I’ve been dealt.

There is a very good chance that when I do run Lakefront, that it will be the only marathon I ever do. I don’t want to half-ass it. I want to run the hell out of that race. I don’t want to be satisfied with finishing before they close the course. I want to have a time goal and I want to beat it. I want to be smart. I want to train smart so I can run smart.

So I’m giving myself another year. Honestly, the thought of doing Lakefront was starting to give me stomach problems and panic attacks. If I was closer to my goal weight, I wouldn’t be doing this. I know that even at my current size, if I followed a training plan, I could do the race. I just don’t think it would be a good experience. The toll running that far during training would take on my body – my knees, ankles and feet especially – could possibly affect future fitness goals. I need to drop more weight before I should train for something as big as a marathon.

So, 2011 will be a year focused on having fun, working hard and losing weight. Oh, and there’ll be a couple of half marathons and maybe an extreme/adventure race thrown in there.

And, as long as there isn’t an apocalypse, I’ll run the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in 2012.

7 Replies to “Decisions are hard”

  1. Amy, I think this is a very smart decision. You have tons of time and you shouldn’t rush yourself to get to marathon level because of an arbitrary deadline. We will all be there for your in 2012!

  2. I’m so glad you were able to come to this conclusion. It doesn’t matter which way you decide, either way I’m just glad you will be happy. There are lots of marathons but only one Amy! Take care of yourself 🙂

  3. Amy, I think you are making a smart decision. It is easy to get caught up in marathon fever and forget what your real goals are. You want to be fit and healthy. Marathoning is not necessarily the way to get there. Take your time, lose the weight and keep moving forward. When you are done and feeling strong, reassess. Congratulations on thinking clearly and knowing what you need.

  4. This is the kind of decision that screams “winner.” You have to be smart, know your limits and set yourself up for success not injury. People who are able to do so are the ones who achieve things.

  5. Smart, gutsy decision. The goal is fit, happy, healthy and thriving, not injured, miserable and disappointed. Attainable goals (with all of life’s responsibilities factored in) are most important. Stay awesome!

  6. Amy — This is a very smart decision. There is no reason to rush things, especially if you know the risk could be more injuries and a less-than-satisfying experience. I think your goal of doing a few more halfs (halves?) this year is perfectly laudable. I’m hoping to do my first half in a few months, and I know it would be great to do a full marathon one day, but I don’t want to rush it. Good luck!

  7. Amy, I have no doubt that you will complete the Lakefront Marathon – just not this year. It sounds like you’ve thoroughly thought this out and clearly made the best decision for 2011. And now that you have the marathon on your calendar for 2012, may you have a healthy, happy journey leading up to that race (and be able to enjoy the heck out of 2011)!

    BTW – My “hiding-from-reality” acquaintances assure me that the apocalypse won’t occur until late December 2012, so you’ll be able to run the marathon with months to spare!

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