Monday, October 1, 2012

Committing THE Marathon Training Faux Pas...and Accepting It

They say you should never skip your long runs.  Skip a short run if you must, but never skip a long run.

This weekend I skipped my long run.

I was scheduled for 22 miles, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I never quite recovered from FitBloggin' and was running all over town with my sister, so come this past weekend, I was exhausted.

The kicker though?  I'm tired of running by myself.  I've been reading various running blogs of people who are, much like myself, dreading their long runs, yet they still get out there and #getitdone.  I so admire them.  I just didn't have it in me this weekend to run yet another 20+ miles (it would have been my 4th 20-miler) by myself.

So at bedtime the night before my run, when Nugget said "Mommy stay downstairs. Daddy Me sleep"--a clear sign that I had been spending too much time away from home--I decided to skip my long run, sleep in, have breakfast with my family, and just putz around the house together.  We were actually quite productive in our putzing: we cleaned out the basement, set up the office and playroom, assembled our new dresser, did laundry, and bought supplies to paint our hall bathroom, plus we went out to visit the woo-woos (fire trucks) and had a family portrait taken.

New dresser!

New bookcase! (Finally!)

In the office.  Seems a productive arrangement, no?

Enjoying a soy latte and contemplating life amidst the chaos.

In an actual Woo-Woo!

Yet in the midst of this productivity, I couldn't help but feel guilty. Should I have gone for my run?

I wrestled with this guilt over night and into this afternoon when I went for an easy 5 mile run.  I didn't push myself, I just ran Easy, Light, Smooth...and not very fast, but I felt great.  I realized that this is what I needed to do: reconnect with running.  Marathon training is long, and I'm finding myself on the brink of burning out. Even though my marathon is still a month away (so not quite taper time), I think it's more important that I remember why I love to run rather than run because that's what my calendar says to do.  Not only is my goal to finish my marathon, but also to run smiling the whole way.

How are you feeling about your training? 

Have you ever skipped a long run and was that a good decision for you?


  1. As long as I feel okay or not sick, I try to follow the plan as much as possible. But if you say that this would have been your 4th 20 miler, maybe you are okay skipping this one. Though you don't want your body to think that the race is very soon, so hopefully it doesn't get thrown off by not doing a 20 miler. I guess in general I think the time period of 3-5 weeks before the race are the most important, because it is here that the longest runs are done, and your body is generally getting into the best shape of the training program.

    But you did a lot of productive things with your time!

    And it is hard to do long runs alone, that is generally how I do my long runs too.

  2. I was incredibly burnt out after fitbloggin too! I did do my long run, but that was basically it. This week hasn't been good for miles but it has been good for crossfit for me. Right now I'm still feeling confident, my 20 miler hurt a lot, but my pace wasn't too awful and I have a couple more 20 milers to accomplish and get better at.

    You have put a lot of work in to training, with one month away and a few more good runs to be had, now is the time to start getting mentally prepared. Don't feel guilty, four 20 milers is enough. To be ready for the big day you've got to stay tough mentally and while running in this last month is important, the way you start visualizing is what will help you get across that finish line. Reconnect with the run and get ready to enjoy your first marathon