To Run or Not To Run

I am currently in the midst of a running dilemma.

To run or not to run the Philadelphia Marathon!

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I signed up last year with the goal of running back to back marathons again but now I have a bit of a conflict. I set my initial marathon sights first and foremost on the Marine Corps Marathon, which I ran a little over a week ago. I told myself that I had to cross the finish line there before I could even begin to think about the Philadelphia Marathon.

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The Marine Corps Finish line has come and gone and now its time to decide if I will runny next marathon in Philadelphia this year.

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I am torn because I want to run the Philadelphia Marathon – whether it be this year or not, I would like to run it at some point. It’s in my goals to run a marathon in every state and it would be fun to run a Pennsylvania one right outside my door.

But I was in a ton of pain during Marine Corps and I am still not feeling 100% – I don’t want to injure myself further and I feel there is a fine line between pushing yourself and going too far. I also have a family wedding the night before the Philadelphia Marathon. While that wouldn’t be a complete reason not to run, there is a difference between enjoying myself as a guest versus going as a guest who has to run 26.2 miles the next day. Wouldn’t you agree?

I don’t want to spend the next two weeks obsessing over whether I want to run or not but I have been going back and forth with what I want to do. During Marine Corps my thoughts were “There is no way in hell I am doing Philly.” Two days later, when I was feeling better my thoughts changed to, ” I really want to cross that Finish Line in Philly!” Then I saw some family this weekend that would be at the wedding the night before the race and I was leaning towards not running again!

The truth is I want to run it. I love running back to back marathons because you spend so many months training for the big race I feel its a shame for it all to be over in one day – if you can spread out your training so you can run two, why not? I did it last year and I set my marathon PR in NYC! I also don’t want to loose the $$ I spent on my bib it would be a shame for that to go to waste and me not have a medal to add to my collection. But at the same time, I am not sure my heart is in it for this second 26.2 in 3 weeks. I am somewhat sure I could finish the race, but I am not sure I would be able to give it my all, not to mention I don’t want to injure myself.

Part of me just wants to play it by ear and flip a coin on the morning of the race and make a game time decision – to run or not to run – but that would be a little crazy, right? Almost as crazy as running 2 marathons in one month??

I would love to know what you think about my dilemma! Should I run the Philadelphia Marathon or not? Keep pounding the pavement or hang up my marathon sneakers for this running season? Please let me know – I should probably make a decision sometime soon – the race is in 11 days!

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22 Comments

  • Reply RunToTheFinish November 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

    interesting I’m in the same boat myself. I want to run the full, but don’t want to further damage my body which is recovering from being sick for 6 months… I have a feeling it will be a race day decision for me

  • Reply melissa November 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I completely get where you’re coming from. It seems like a letdown to train for 5-6 months and have it be over in one race! Listen to your body and your heart though. If either are feeling off (or even doubtful) about this year – sit it out. There’s always 2013! (I’m running the half – so if you choose to run, maybe I’ll see you there!)

  • Reply Meghan November 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I originally had a similar dilemma (before getting pregnant) about running it since I have a wedding the night before. I know there are a lot of weddings in Philly then, but I wonder if perhaps we will be at the same one?

  • Reply Haley November 8, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I say run. Your reasons for running are so strong–training, a sense of accomplishment, you admit yourself you want to. You don’t have to PR, you can still have fun at the wedding (just wear flats 🙂 ) and in reading your lists, it sounds like you’ll be bummed if you don’t. To me, those reasons for running are so much stronger than not. Then again, this all comes with the caveat of not running if you really think an injury is likely or highly possible…that, I wouldn’t recommend. 🙂

  • Reply Bobbi McCormick November 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I like the advice my coach gave me one year and it has stuck with me for live. You want to run for your ENTIRE life not just for one race, so listen to your body there is always another race 🙂

  • Reply Courtney November 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I was having a similar dilemma this weekend about running the half. I decided not to, and the next morning I decided to see what it might be like to sell my bib- I listed it on Craigslist and it was taken by someone within 10 minutes!
    Look under tickets, and search for marathon- that’s where I found a number of similar posts and listed my own!

  • Reply Danielle @ FoodosaurusRex November 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’m running it, but only with the hopes of crossing the finish line. I don’t know why I thought I’d be able to successfully train for a marathon in November and get married in September, but my training has been rather sub-par. So, I’m just planning to run to finish and get myself that medal, and focus on actually racing a marathon next year. So, if you decide to run and are looking for someone to run with, let me know – I’d love a running buddy! (I’m hoping to finish under 4:45, but we’ll see how that goes)

  • Reply Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl November 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve never run a marathon, so I really can’t weigh in on this. Would you be able to transfer to next year if you did decide not to run and if so is there a time limit on when you can do that? I’m definitely thinking of Philly as the place of my first marathon and next year would probably be when I’d do it. 🙂

  • Reply Amy November 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Can you run the half?
    I read a bit of an interesting article yesterday. A PT suggested that the # of rest days between races should equal the number of miles of your most recent race – 26 days of rest in your case. I’d never heard that take on it before. Take care of yourself – that’s #1! But if you do decide to go with it, maybe you can take the approach of just taking it easy and walking parts of it. Good luck with whatever you choose!

  • Reply Langston November 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Listen to your body.
    The body always knows.

  • Reply Patty O November 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I think you should focus on running one marathon in the Spring and one marathon in the Fall, not two back to back because there is not enough time in between to recoup, especially if you have a slight injury. Try and sell your bib or defer until next year, then look for a race in the Spring and you’ll be set!

  • Reply Amy Kreidler November 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    This is just my opinion, so take it or leave it…:)

    Run it! I ran the Rock n Roll St. Louis on 10/23 and fought some horrible IT Band issues from miles 17-26.2. I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon just 13 days later and felt great after giving my body a complete rest except for 3 short runs and some physical therapy. I felt great until 20 miles, then hit the wall. My aches/pains only started at mile 25…I felt like you did and I’m glad I took the chance. I had decided that if I was hurting during the race, I would walk/run because I just wanted to finish.

    Good luck to you on whatever you decide!

  • Reply Erica November 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    My two cents is don’t run. You have SO much to already be proud of and as others have commented, there is always next year/many more marathons for you to run. I say have a great time at that wedding! You deserve a glass (or two or three) of champagne 🙂

  • Reply Jenna Beil November 9, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I think that you should run!! You will feel amazing after doing so, but mainly because I am running the Philly Marathon and it will be my very first 🙂 🙂 I have been training since August and this past sunday I had a recent flare up of the tendonitis in my knee…I am seeing the doctor and engaging in a lot of therapeutic stretching, massaging, icing and strengthening. You will regret it if you don’t run <3 Run.Run.Run!

  • Reply Teeny@trackingteeny.com November 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Honestly, avoid injury at all costs. Currently, I’m going through some and it stinks. Most importantly is your health and the ability to run Marathons throughout the years. That’s what I keep telling myself to avoid pushing too hard!

  • Reply Ashley November 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    My advice is listen to your body. It’s one thing to push yourself, and another to injure yourself like you said! And you JUST finished one, and have so much to be proud of. Enjoy the weekend festivities/wedding, and let your body rest and relax!

  • Reply Charlene November 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Based on what I’m reading, looks like it will be a Saturday/Sunday decision for you. Listen to your body Saturday, and once it’s made do what you need to do (eat/drink wisely) at the wedding. (I will assume your wedding is local.) And get the rest you need.

    There are people that can push like marathon maniacs and others that are way more conservative. You appear a stronger individual than I, but I’m not sure how badly you hurt yourself at MCM. I know I’m nowhere near the strength level to run 2 fulls in 3 weeks, and I’ve just recovered from MCM injury well enough to stand and run the Philly Half. Plan to complete it, not aiming for the PR, but if it happens, it happens. My muscles are tired and I know it.

    Also what is your goal for this race? PRing versus just completing can alter what happens.

    I could be wrong, but if need be, you could stop at the half marathon mark if something goes wrong between 1-13, but that’s an on-the-fly call.

    I have seen numerous people on FB asking for bibs for the half or the full, if you need to, you can put yours out if you decide to retire from the race on Friday.

    Take it day by day and good luck.

  • Reply Charli November 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Hi there, I just found your blog (because I saw the link on the Running Skirts page). How funny, I used to live in Philly and now I live in the MD ‘burbs of DC. I have two very spoiled small dogs, Sassie and Sookie, and I am working towards a marathon in each state (I was able to “officially” join the club after Chicago this year).

    I would say go for it, and see how you feel. You have already paid for the bib, you live in the area….I would line up, start the run and if the pain gets to be too much, just stop. At least you got in a few miles 🙂 And who knows, maybe you will feel awesome and have a nice run.

  • Reply Sherryw55 November 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    If your body isn’t feeling 100%, skip it and enjoy the wedding. You could injure yourself and be out for a while.

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