*Caution: this post is lengthy*
I'm gonna be honest, homies, I'm feeling down and doubtful about Chicago right now. I could perhaps attest both feelings to a variety of factors: exhaustion (classes are busy right now, and with house guests, entertaining is draining), PMS, or even poor sleep; however, for the past few days I have been seriously questioning not just whether or not I can run Chicago, but whether or not I want to run Chicago.
This morning I was feeling so low about it, I cried some to my husband about it, and while he aims to be helpful -- telling me that whatever I choose is fine and that he supports either decision -- it's ultimately difficult because it's a choice I have to make on my own.
But to offer up a sampling of my doubts, they include:
Under/Sporadic Training: I'm nearly halfway through the training, yet my long run repetoire is sparse and I haven't run anything longer than 11 miles so far. The last 7 days have been particularly erratic and I haven't run a log run since the disasterous group run from over a week ago. I had promised myself after Disney that I would be more faithful in following a training schedule, but I find myself slipping back into my old ways. Not good.
Lack of Motivation: Even though I specifically signed up for Chicago because it sounded like fun, now I find it hard to get enthused about running 26.2 miles -- no matter the event or locale. I can certainly imagine my feelings of accomplishment and triumph with a finish, but thinking of not running it doesn't bother me (if I don't run, we'll still go to Chicago -- I have purchased the travel accomodations -- but I would just play a cheering roll instead of a participatory one). Plus, I keep thinking: I've completed a marathon, and that was all I'd initially set out to do, so why have I felt the need to continue with such long, strenous races when I might be better suited as a runner for shorter races?
Looming Feeling/Pressure: It certainly is great to have goals, but having the big race looming over all aspects of the training kinda takes away from some of the joy I get from running -- an activity that I mainly enjoy for its escapist nature. If I miss a run or do poorly on a run during training, I feel guilty and immediately question my ability to complete or do well in the race. I don't really like that added stress in my life (especially b/c I'm someone who likes to enjoy as stress-free existence as possible). For example, the past week when I haven't really been able to run, it has been in the back of my mind constantly and I find it infringes on my ability to relax, knowing that instead of enjoying a sunset celebration, I should be running the 5K.
Certainly, I know I can turn these thoughts around (I've had them before and have overcome them) and they may be temporary, so in two days I may not be thinking like this anymore (especially since I know that PMS makes me "blue" for a day or two and I am always a little irrational). Plus, I know I can make the most of the next half of my training; I can re-focus and I'm certain I could do the running. But, as I said at the beginning of the post, it's not necessarily a matter of "can" I do it -- it is the desire to do it.
The only thing that (truly) keeps me from deciding to not run it is that I'm the sort who hates to quit. And for some reason, deciding to not run Chicago feels like quitting -- opting out of a challenge that I chose to undertake -- and that's not how I roll. Even if I can't do something perfectly, I still always see things through.
So, I hope I've accurately painted the (mental and emotional) dilemma I'm facing, and in the end, I know that no one else can make the decision for me (although opinions, advice, empathy, and reprimands are all appreciated); I need to conclude what I can for myself.
Thanks for reading. Think I want a Diet Pepsi now. No, wait, maybe a cold beer. If only I didn't have another class in half an hour... is it "wrong" to go to class after a few?