After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Marathon - It Ain't Happening - 2015

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: June 20, 2015

MCM 1983 Photo

Okay Harold what has happened to all those "Grand" plans of yours to run a marathon in October and then go for a Boston Qualifier time and eventually running The Boston Marathon - which has been a dream for so many years.

Well - it ain't happening.

This is my mea culpa.

Back in April I got caught up in the excitement of seeing so many runners that I know running and finishing Boston.

Something I know better than to do.

However, in my hubris, yeah I know what it means and it fits what I did. I declared to the world that I was going to finish a marathon in October, go for a BQ in 2016 and then run the next Boston.

Well I am not.

No marathon this year, no BQ in 2016 and finally no Boston Marathon.

My streak of no marathons since 1983 will continue.

I have finally gotten it through this thick skull of mine that my Boston Marathon dream, is just that - a dream and the reality is that it is a dream that will not happen.


There are a few reasons (not excuses) and if I am honest with myself the real reason:

1. My body just doesn't hold up to the long runs and high mileage. 

That balky and surgically repaired right knee doesn't like it when I get over 10 miles or so. I can get to the 13-14 mile point and not suffer too much, but when I did the 14 miler a couple of weeks ago the knee bothered more than I admitted or wanted to admit. 

Then last week's 13 miler ended up the same way, which frustrated the hell out of me and again I minimized what had happened. I wanted to see how it did on one last long run before I made my decision, but in my heart I already knew the answer, so today's aborted run is not going to delay my decision.

I know that running 26.2 the knee is just is not going to hold up and/or I will change my gait and injure something else - been there and done that way back in 1983 and the memories of that day still haunt my running - yeah it sucks.

2. I don't enjoy marathon training. 

The structure needed to prepare myself to be ready to run 26.2 at the pace I want for 16-20 weeks is just is not enjoyable. It isn't the running that bothers me so much as the idea of what I "have to do" to get me there, versus the spontaneous choices I like to make with my running and that make it fun.

Okay Harold - let's be honest those may be good reasons not to do a marathon, but if you really, really wanted to run a marathon, you would suck it up and deal with those two reasons, so what is really going on?

3. Sadly, my heart and soul are not all in. 

 This is the fourth week of my marathon training program and I thought that by now, I would have gotten into the training and be "all in".

I am not.

My attitude towards "having to" run a marathon is becoming more negative each week and it is time to be honest with myself.

Yes, I want to run Boston as a qualified runner, but the more I think and brood over my decision to run a marathon last April, because it was my decision to start the marathon training cycle again. I know that running a marathon, attempting to run a qualifying time and then run Boston, really is not something that I want or "need" to do - now or in the foreseeable future.

The reality is that

I just want to run and do an occasional race, but the most important thing to me is to enjoy my running. Which is not the direction things are going for me over the past few weeks. Running is becoming more and more of "have to", versus "want to".

Like I replied to Stefan earlier this week:

It is not so much the speed side of the coin that is bothering me…I know I am weird, it is more the distance and the pounding that the longer runs do to the undercarriage that is aging and has a bunch of rust holes in the frame. It is holding together, but…how many miles are left before something breaks on one of those long runs, that I know are a part of marathon training. I can handled the marathon speedwork, it is the combo of the long distance and speed that is tougher.

If I continue to push/increase the length of my long runs, I have a feeling that at some point my knee or something else is just going to break down and become a major injury - after all, I do tend to minimize my body's reactions to things that hurt more than they should and as I got closer to the marathon date, the more I would do that just to keep the dream going.

Yeah, I know that Harold being Harold is not always a good thing.

My long-term goal

My primary goal for the next 20 years, is to be able to run for the next 20 years.

I believe that marathon training or running a marathon are not going to help me reach that goal.

So instead of allowing my conceit in what I believe my abilities as a runner are and despite how loudly I have bragged about chasing my Boston Marathon dream on my blog and other social media sites or in person - the truth is running a marathon - ain't gonna happen anytime soon - if ever.

I will not close the door completely, but I right now I don't see it happening.

You know something, after writing this post, I feel as though the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. This is something that has bothered me a lot for the last month and now that I have made the decision that is right for me (and I know it is) - I feel a LOT better.

I have a feeling that tomorrow's run will be a little lighter in the shoulder area.

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