Why I’m hanging up my marathon shoes (for a while)


As I sit here with my leg feeling as though it could drop off at any moment (OK slight exaggeration – I have ITBS and a tight quad and extremely tight glutes), I’m asking myself why am I doing the marathon? I’ve spent the last few weeks in a combined state of elation after a good run and misery after a bad run, my house has been a shit tip, organising meals around work has been a  nightmare, at one stage I had 3 jobs (company director, part time job and full time job), I’ve got lot of other stuff going on and I wonder what the hell possessed me to sign up?

As a newbie runner who hasn’t even mastered the 5k to the best of my ability, should I be taking on the glory of the marathon (let’s face it peeps it’s all about saying you’ve done a 26.2!)? Probably not!

I am now 5 days away from London Marathon and I’m having to foam roller, stretch, ice, heat, bathe in epsom salts and be strapped up like a mummy in the hope that I can shuffle around in a half way decent time. Is this pain worth it? Probably not in the long term.

I guess what I’m saying is BE PATIENT. If you are a new runner, get the basics done and then when you feel like you can really run a marathon in a good time for you without injury – knock yourself out.

I’m hanging up my marathon shoes until I can be a better runner, get stronger on hills and nail the speed.

If I change my mind after I crawl through London marathon on Sunday, watch me eat my words…


15 thoughts on “Why I’m hanging up my marathon shoes (for a while)

  1. Yes, I feel your pain. I said never again after my first one but then a chance to do London came along and it would have been rude not to. I’ve had something going on in my hip which I’ve had lots of treatment for but never quite sorted out and a few extra niggles have emerged this week. It never feels like I’ve done enough training. I was feeling like I’d done nothing yesterday but then remembered I’d done three taper-type runs in the past three days – it’s all become a bit of a blur! This time around I’ve become convinced that all the strengthening exercises I’ve got by without doing before and find really tedious are probably quite important for marathons but that’s a lesson for next time. Right now I’m half looking forward to Sunday and half worrying the injury will flare up and ruin my day. And like you I’m looking forward to a bit of normality, starting 14th April!

  2. Its takes a brave person to run a marathon, even braver to make the decision to pull out. Well done! You’ve made the right decision and I applaud your strength of character! There’s always another marathon, you can defer till next year, but theres only one you and you need to take care of yourself! x

  3. Respect for your decision. That you want to do it is a great statement of personal strength as is the ability to say “no” when that is the right thing to do. Know how you feel when I have pulled out of a challenge before so know you will have awfully mixed feelings on Sunday. Lets just cheer on those who are on the start line as much as those who aim for other achievements as well. We at workplay bags will be glued to the Telly trying to spot all the runners wearing our Fleetfoot II running bag! Thank you for sharing your experience – you will not be alone.

  4. I’m sorry things are so hectic and chaotic right now. For me, a marathon is a once in a lifetime kind of thing – I’m doing one, enjoying every part of the experience and moving on to distances I enjoy more. I hope you have a wonderful marathon, despite everything. Best of luck and I look forward to hearing about it!

  5. Building up to a marathon takes time, usually 6 months for your first one. You also have to build up your miles slowly or you risk injury.
    I hope you don’t give up on marathons. The training does take extra committment of time and effort and life often gets in the way.

  6. Wise words and I’m sure you’ll do what you think is best. I haven’t done the London Marathon before (although all things going well I’ll be there on Sunday) but i know at a point before EVERY marathon I’ve done I’ve felt like jacking it all in. Hope you’re ok and I’m sure that whichever decsion you make will be the right one for you. xx

  7. Sian, good luck on Sunday. I did it in 2012 and I don’t think it is possible to run it and not fall head over heels in love with it. I hope it is a really joyous occasion for you.

  8. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for your first marathon, I know it’s easier said than done but it can help just to think of it as an experience with no expectations of a finish time. Best of luck and enjoy!

    • The thing is this is my second now and I was do looking forward to finishing it in ‘a time’, but think will have to just settle for finishing.

  9. Sian, you’re stressing too much. You’re going to be fine and I bet you end up enjoying yourself! Good luck for Sunday, I’ll be thinking if you (and wishing I was running it too)… Just keep on going… YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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