Thursday, January 8, 2015

In a NOLA State of Mind

I have been thinking so much about New Orleans the past few days.  I feel like I have been neglecting it. I have been so excited for this trip since June, when I registered for the race. Not just for the race, but I was going to spend a few days with my college friends who recently moved to Louisiana! I love traveling to new places and seeing new things, plus getting to run another marathon!

Even while all of my focus was on Columbus this summer, in the back of my mind I knew I was getting to build on everything to race again about three months later. I was going to have my best shot for a sub-4 hour marathon. I loved getting my emails about what to expect before during and after the race. I chuckled at the “don’t take the jell-o shots along the course” emails. I was really excited!

Cue stress fracture.

The first thing I asked the doctor, through my tears, was if I could still do the race. He said we would revisit it after my MRI. When that time came, I asked the same question. He gave an emphatic no. He even laughed while he said it. After I explained to him that I would not race it, just run it, we agreed that it could be done.

After that moment, the race was never the same. Recently, I have felt like this race is a burden on me. My heart isn’t in it. It’s not that I can’t do it, I know I can, it is the fact that my goals for the race have been dashed even before I was in the same calendar year!

I know this is going to be my last marathon for almost two years. My next planned marathon will be in the fall of 2016. I wanted to go out on a high note. After having such a huge PR in Columbus, I wanted to follow up on that performance. Sadly, no matter how hard I want to believe I can, I have to be realistic that it isn’t going to happen.

Why am I even doing this? Is it really worth it anymore?

I was talking to Chelsea and Kristy about it over the weekend. Can I first tell you how important it is to have runner friends in your life? People who don’t think you’re crazy trying to run a marathon five weeks post boot.

Anyway, when I was talking to Chelsea she could completely understand where I’m coming from. She also helped me remember why I signed up for the race, and the fun time I am going to have. I have some big goals for myself in 2015 and I have been feeling like this race is getting in the way of them. Chelsea pretty much told me to snap out of it and focus.

Yeah, I needed that.

I was talking to Kristy about how I should be attacking the next three weeks until the race, long run wise. She was telling me how she ran a marathon on six weeks of training. I’M NOT CRAZY! We worked out what my long runs should be the next two weeks (16 then 18) with no taper. My original plan had me maxing at 16 this week then back down to 10 next week.

Kristy also told me something I needed to hear, “You will finish no problem.”

I don’t think I knew how much I needed to hear that. During my long run last week I was starting to convince myself that finishing the half could be a possibility in NOLA. That it would be something I was okay with. Let me let you in on a little secret, I have never quit on anything in my life. If I say I’m going to do it, I will find a way. This will be no exception!

This is the promise I am making to all of you. I will finish that full marathon. I don’t care if I finish DFL, I will cross that finish line. I might be walking, maybe crying or cursing but I will get that medal and jacket. Even more than that, I will prove to myself that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be!


  1. You got this!!! just get into a comfortable pace and let your legs do the rest

  2. You've got it just in attitude alone! You WILL finish. I'll even bet you won't be DFL.

  3. You are DEFINITELY going to finish it, Steff; I have NO doubt! You have such a strong running & training base. It may not be the race of a lifetime, depending on what your expectations are, but there is always another race...go out there and have a blast. I'm so proud of you!

  4. You will definitely finish, but I bet you'll also have a great experience. New Orleans is awesome & will be so cool to run in! Plus, now that you don't have a time goal you can have those jello shots on the course, ha ha!

  5. You will finish and you know what -
    F the time PR.
    Set a FUN PR!
    I mean it is NoLa.

  6. Haha, I was just going to say the same thing: TAKE THE JELL-O SHOTS! ;)

  7. Always make sure you are having fun! Even if you are lining up at the start line of your goal race, have fun! When I coached, I always told my kids if you aren't having fun, then why are you doing this? Same should go for running and racing! Get down to the basics and JUST HAVE FUN!!! Can't wait to hear all about it and TAKE THE JELL-O SHOTS! :-)