Bowing out of Berlin

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I hate quitting. But ask my mom or any of my friends, and they will tell you I have a habit of starting things but not finishing them (This is a personality fault I am aware of and have been working on). However, when I signed up to run two marathons on 2015, dropping out wasn't an option. I was running these for RODS Racing, a new challenge (as my furthest event had only ever been a half) to overcome the charity fatigue of my friends and family. Being petrified of pain and not finishing was a powerful motivator for sticking to my Prague training plan. And I succeeded in May- I was officially a marathoner. 

The plan was to have 1 month to move house and re-cooperate before starting a new training plan for Berlin. I selected a plan that was a little more intense (18 weeks instead of 24, running 6 days/week) as I didn't have as much time to train.  But that's the thing-

I never started training.

My new commute took away 3 hours of my day, which were key in my previous training plan. I no longer had time for three 20 minute dog walks a day plus running so my weight has been creeping up too. Which lead to a downward spiral of stress eating, guilt, and lack of sleep. No running whatsoever.

Awesome huh?

I know I am not perfect and deep down I knew I wouldn't be prepared for Berlin. I had only booked my accommodation, but not my flight. My RODS friends from Texas recently told me they were no longer able to come over to Germany and they were the reason I signed up to this particular race. I know about a handful of people going, but they are making it a holiday with their partners. James can't come because he has Rugby World Cup tickets. (The blessing in skipping Berlin is that I can now attend the Ireland v. Romania game too!)

I am really disappointed about Berlin but know this is the right decision for me at this point in my life. Unfortunately I cannot defer my entry or get a refund, so it is an expensive lesson. When I signed up last October, I didn't know we would be moving house so at the time it seemed doable (slightly crazy, but doable).  I could start training now and take my time to run it. However, I still can't magic the time into my schedule and I would probably finish in quite a lot of pain. It isn't worth it to me.  For now I am trying to get some running back into my routine by partial run commuting and keeping kit on hand at work for when I have a sudden burst of inspiration.

Have you ever had to drop out of a race you were looking forward (not due to injury)? How did you cope?

6 comments:

  1. There will be other marathons when everything aligns and it FEELS right! Congrats on making the RIGHT decision for YOU!

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    1. Thanks for your support Ash, I was really torn for a while, but am much more comfortable with my decision now. :)

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  2. Thanks for posting, nice to know other people have the same dilemmas. I had to drop out of Bournemouth half last year - I had another race 6 weeks later, wasnt trained and was drained from writing a book. I travelled down to the coast, thinking I'd run/walk it, then just decided to book a train home at the time the race was on. I knew I needed the rest more than the run. The fact that I felt no guilt meant I knew it was the right choice.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Helen. It sounds like you made the right decision too. Well done!

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  3. Are you sure you can't defer? I had ITBS last year and couldn't train for it at all, so I emailed them and they sent me a deferral form which I could send in any time up to the week before the race, in the end I ending up doing the race and not deferring it anyway, but there was definitely that option previously.

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    1. Hi Lauren, I checked on their site and they said no. You raise a good point that I should at least try. You would think a big race such as this would have a system in place for deferring....

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