This morning as I ran through Midtown Sacramento, I had thoughts about 2021, “my marathon year.” During that year, I ran two marathons, the first a solo marathon, the second the California International Marathon (CIM). For CIM training that fall, I trained with some very fast runners. These guys were on their way to qualifying to run the Boston Marathon, something many CIMers go for.* I really admired these guys. I fed off their commitment and speed. In fact, I was proud to be among them in a small contingent of runners in our program that year who ran the marathon in under four hours.
The stimulation of being around elite runners was great… until it wasn’t. The problem occurred after CIM, when instead of honestly assessing where I was at and what I needed (which might have told me I needed to take a break), I intended to carry on like the elite runners. They were already getting ready for their next marathon! Of course, trying to be like them didn’t work out. When I opted out of CIM 2022 a few months ago, I finally gave myself the break I probably wanted a year before.
I am so glad I woke up. Now I have the chance to enjoy running fully once again. As I wrote yesterday, the good time is what matters. That is more important than any time, distance, or training program.
And I am enjoying myself. After not running at all in December, and very little in January, I am easing back into it. Currently I am running three times a week for an hour.
I have no big race on the calendar. I am running the Bay-to-Breakers–a seven-mile fun run– in SF in May with my brother. I might do a half marathon later in the year. I don’t see myself turning training into a grind anymore. Any intense training will have to be a “Hell Yes,” like marathon no. 1 was.
After all, Joy and Satisfaction come first!
*The California International Marathon is touted as ” the fastest course in the west” and attracts a lot of runners aiming to qualify for the Boston marathon.