Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is This Growing Up?

I remember running the Goofy Challenge like it was yesterday. Me and hubby flashback on it every so often when we have a friend who says they could never run a half marathon.

The thing I remember most was after it was all over. I walked through the bag check area to meet hubby at our meeting spot. I sat on the ground, took off my shoes and sat there. When he finally found me, I said the same words I’m pretty sure every marathoner EVER has said.

“I’m never doing that again.”

He proceeded to laugh at me and tell me he would believe it when he saw it.

The truth is, I was actually serious.

The Walt Disney World Marathon was a slightly defeating experience for me. I “ran” the half marathon the day before and had zero side effects from it. I felt amazing. When I did not do as well as I thought I would during the marathon itself, I was forced to be with those awful thoughts for a little longer than I wanted to. I knew I was semi-decent at running half marathons, but after awhile, I knew I would have to prove more to myself.

Plus, I was sidelined for two months after that marathon. The real question became, is it really worth it?

So I thought long and hard about if I really wanted to run the Columbus full marathon or stick to the half. I know I am nowhere close to a BQ, even a sub-4, so what was I really training for? At least if I ran the half I could boost my confidence with, hopefully, a new PR.

To be honest, I cannot tell you what made me push the marathon button. There is no explanation. I’m sure somewhere in my self-conscious my mind knew I needed this race and training.

I think the crazier thing that happened was signing up for ANOTHER marathon, this time Rock and Roll New Orleans. The reasoning behind this was,” I’m not traveling all the way to NOLA to not run the full marathon.” This also gives me two marathons in three months. I have not recovered well from marathons. I know this. WHAT AM I DOING?

You know what, I am four weeks into training for Columbus and I have already noticed a difference in this training to any others. I am not focusing on running as fast as I can for as long as I can. If I have a fast day, cool! If not, oh well. If it felt good and comfortable that is all that matters to me. Taking the time goal pressure off has made training enjoyable again.

I have been asked a few times what my goals are for Columbus. I can only think of two.

1. Finishing
2. Stay Healthy

No time goal. None. If I happen to end up with a new PR, GREAT! If I don’t, I’m not going to be found in the meet-up area crying my eyes out like in Pittsburgh.

I just want to enjoy running again. I can honestly say that I am.

Is this a runners version of growing up?


  1. Congrats on the upcoming marathons! I think you will do an awesome job with #2 because you've done it before and know what to expect. Training for my second half marathon was so much easier than my first because there was no "unknown" miles that you've never run before and worrying about if you can do the whole thing. I'm hoping that it's the same for marathons too! Good luck!

  2. Steffany Smith RubelJuly 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Thank you! This will be marathon three and four. I really enjoy running halfs but not so much fulls. I have already said these are my last fulls for some time and I'm alright with it!

  3. I would say it is growing up!! You realize there are so many races and some days go great and some days go bad. You could get upset or you can brush it off and look toward the next race. I always think back to the quote" your not running until you forget your running" .. I look at that as saying your not running until you are just out there not worried about the time or how you finish, you are running for the enjoyment!!

  4. Steffany Smith RubelJuly 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    After Pittsburgh I realized how hard I was really pushing myself. I felt so sick the whole race. I didn't enjoy myself at all. That's not what it's about. It's about having fun. I'm finally there and so happy