Dublin Marathon: Decision Time


Gorgeous views from Box Hill last weekend!

I’ve drafted and re-drafted this post sooo many times, and then I dithered over whether or not I should even publish it. But here it is.

I have a habit of setting big goals, and putting quite a bit of pressure on myself to meet them. And I’m pretty hard on myself when things don’t go to plan.

So this decision was really hard.

A few weeks into my Dublin Marathon plan, I caught a nasty cold and was out of action for a couple of weeks. When I finally got back into my running shoes, things just… didn’t feel quite right. My breathing wouldn’t settle, my legs were heavy, and even the shorter ‘easy’ runs felt like a struggle.

I hate to say it, but I kind of fell out of love with running.

I blamed it on taking a break, I blamed it on the freakishly hot weather we’ve had, I blamed it on work… But what I eventually realised was that for whatever reason, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

I feel a bit crap admitting it, if I’m honest!

The thing is, when it comes to marathon training, it’s not enough to just tick off the sessions on your plan. As the long runs get longer, it’s that mental drive that will keep you going – pure stubbornness and determination. And somewhere along the line, I lost mine.

I love running. I love races, and I love big city marathons. Standing at the starting line of an event I always get butterflies, and crossing the finish line is the best feeling EVER.

But I think I need to listen to my body, and accept that maybe 2 marathons (plus that little hike across Exmoor…) are enough for me this year.

So I’ve decided to DNS Dublin, and postpone my sub-5 marathon attempt to 2017. I’m going to work towards a spring race, which means training will start again a little later this year.

I feel like a bit of a failure for giving up. But I’m not going to stop training completely – I’m going to get back into parkrun; I’m going to work on my swimming; I’ll be exploring more walk routes in the Surrey Hills (suggestions or company are both welcome!), and I’ll of course be spending some quality time with friends and family.

It’s time to take some of the pressure off, and get back into running for FUN, not for finish times.

Next month I’ll be heading down to Devon to join my lovely parents for the Great West Run. It’ll be my Dad’s first race since his accident last year, and I’m really looking forward to running it with him.

Dublin, I’ll see you next year.

Have you ever DNS’d or postponed a big race?

4 thoughts on “Dublin Marathon: Decision Time

  1. Sorry to hear you won’t do Dublin , first year it’s on a Sunday, special 1916 centenary medal. but it’s the right decision, I had the same not lovin’ runnin’ experience in 2015 and ran Barcelona 2016 instead, so good luck. Plan is Paris or Rome next year, any preference from your experience? PS As Dublin is a sell out this year, be sure and return your number, there’s a waiting list I hear…

  2. Ahh I’m sorry! But exactly like you said, for a marathon your heart really has to be in it. I had some de-motivated feelings during my cycle for my upcoming marathon but I found the love again that spurred me on. You’ve definitely made the right decisions – and marathons aren’t the be all and end all (and you’ve already done two this year!! That’s awesome!). I’ve had a DNS for a marathon but it was because I was injured (which SUCKED).

  3. I always find that seem to fall out of love with running in the summer. Definitely a winter runner! I’m also signed up to do the great West run and it’s great to hear that your dad’s running again!

    • I think that must be it – bring on the frosty autumn days! I’m so excited for him, it’s a bit of a milestone and will be great to pace him round 🙂 I hope you have a brilliant run!

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