Why I Quit Training for the Chicago Marathon

One day a sweet friend invited me to her church after I told her how I really wanted to find one but just wasn’t sure where to start looking. So I took her up on her offer right away and  I instantly fell in love with this place and the people in it! It is not the same type of church that I grew up in, I came from a very strict Southern Baptist Church and as much as I loved going when I was little, this more laid back atmosphere is what I’d been searching for and I hadn’t even realize it.
I had recently been encouraging myself to take more risks and do things that I haven’t always been comfortable doing so when a speaker came in Sunday morning sharing his story about the grief and loss that lead him to this amazing organization called World Vision, I was floored. World vision is an organization that is bringing clean water to people in countries that don’t have access to it. They have also helped countless people run the Chicago Marathon in which they raise money for clean water and they were asking us to join them on this journey. My friend and I looked at each other and said lets do it!!!
I started out so excited and energized! Not only was I going to be able to help people who needed it I was going to do something good for myself. As moms we tend to put ourselves on the backburner and don’t get the time that we need to just push everything out of our minds. There is always something to worry about whether its money, school, cleaning something or relationships. I seriously worry when there’s nothing to worry about because obviously something awful is about to happen, its like the calm before the storm. At least that’s how my crazy brain works. I love to run but don’t do it very often because I just don’t make time for that sort of thing. I am usually worrying about everyone else’s needs. It helps me decompress.
Nothing to worry about.
No one to do anything for.
Just run.
I got my training schedule, researched the best foods to eat and running gear to get. I did the 1st several weeks of the pre-training and was feeling pretty good about myself. I was slower than a turtle with ankle weights but I was getting my miles in. My friend and I picked mornings every week and were up before the sun in order to run together. I was thinking of ways to start fundraising and was so enthusiastic but nervous about this new adventure. I had big plans and nothing was going to stop me.
As all good intentions typically go, I found times that I wasn’t able to run or I would have to end a run early because my family needed me. I also had some amusing and scary encounters during these runs that lead to me to think it might be a good idea to find a new location to do my training. So that added in more time to account for driving back and forth somewhere. I started feeling very down about my inability to get these miles in every week. Every week I would look at the calendar and see that the week had gone by in the blink of an eye and I hadn’t gotten my runs in. My husband worked late, had meetings, our oldest had baseball games or hockey practices, dinner had to be cooked, and kids cried every time I went near the door. It was always something.
As the weeks went by and the real training began I started seeing the numbers of miles that I was suppose to be running increase and those numbers started to seem impossible. When I knew I could barely run 5 miles, 12 was crazy. It was becoming one more thing to try and put on my calendar instead of doing it because I truly loved it. I had a lot of guilt.

I wasn’t dedicated enough.
I was lazy.
I couldn’t schedule my time wisely.
I had no accomplishments.
I was failing at one more thing that I had started.
I was having one of those weeks where I felt I was doing everything wrong, I was horrible at everything but you know what?? After a lot of self pitying, I finally realized that not being able to make this work wasn’t a short coming on my part but I was just aware that my time was better spent tending to my young families needs and charging ahead with new ventures. I had genuinely wanted to do this marathon but there was something holding me back from fully committing. Something or someone else always took precedence over going for a run. God was telling me that this just wasn’t what I was suppose to do right now and that’s ok. The fact that I could finally see what was best for myself and my family was being a little more relaxed and not burning myself out trying to run 3 times a week at 4 am.
I have dabbled in a few different careers over the last several years and they didn’t work out like I had planned. I felt bad when these dreams ended but looking back I can see that it wasn’t in my heart to continue doing these things because I needed to be open for better opportunities that came along. I have to remind myself when I see someone doing something  and think “Hey, I can do that too!” that we are all in different positions in life and not everything works for everyone. Many times I make myself feel worse because I see someone else thriving doing the same thing that I’m quitting and just don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. The difference is that we all have a path to take and that one just isn’t mine. I can always look back at situations and see why I wasn’t meant to do it.
There is no point in making myself crazy just so I can say I accomplished this. Yes, I would love to be apart of the amazing group of people that are dedicating so much time and energy but it wasn’t meant to be. As much as I hate to admit it, I am not super woman and I do have limitations. We all do. I have little people that need me more than I need to do this. My husband reminded me that my  accomplishments are my kids and how I am trying to raise them and set a good example by going after what I want in life. I totally fail at this sometimes but I am learning to ask them for forgiveness and show them how to start again.
I can still cheer everyone else on throughout their training, and listen to and watch their triumphs. I see all of these people from different backgrounds coming together and cheering each other on with such love and genuine excitement! It is truly amazing to watch and I know they are all going to do an amazing job and raise a lot of money for a wonderful cause.
My sweet friend that I started this journey with has been kicking some serious butt! She has been dedicated to training for this marathon from day one and doesn’t complain a bit. She has been an inspiration and I am so excited to cheer her and the whole World Vision team on as they run the Chicago Marathon on October 8th to help bring clean water to those less fortunate.

 

 

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