I recently had to change my entry in the Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half Marathon and 5k from the half marathon to the 5k. So instead of running 13 miles, I'll only be running 3 miles on August 31.
At first I felt terrible about this. I hated myself for changing my entry. I beat myself up during every easy run, telling myself I wasn't good enough because I could only run a few miles when other people could run more than 10 miles.
Then I realized that changing my entry was a good decision. In fact, it is one of the better decisions that I've made lately.
Running a half marathon was a good goal. It was a goal I was willing and ready to work towards. I signed up for the race with plenty of time to train, and I attacked my training with excitement and vigor. And guess what? Things were going really well. I was steadily improving in terms of distance AND pace. I was really excited. I knew I'd be finish near the back of the pack, but I also knew that I could finish.
But then life happened, and my training fell through the cracks. On top of regular life problems, I started to experience some health problems and found myself unable to really run. I still tried to run, but I failed miserably. One week I was running seven miles a day, then the next week I could barely manage three miles. Even with multiple walk breaks, every run left me feeling sick and hurt.
One day, I finally gave myself permission to rest and stopped running on a regular basis. I started to slowly feel better. I finally got to the point where I'm okay to start running regularly again, but I've been advised to take it slow.
With the half marathon getting closer and closer, I realized that there was no way I would be able to complete the distance because I didn't have adequate time to train and didn't want to risk making myself sick or hurt again. I contacted the race organizers and was able to switch to the 5k.
I never anticipated this sudden change of plans, but shit happens. I'm trying to look at this as a new start. Instead of focusing on the race I won't be running, I'm trying to focus on the one I will be running.
I'm going to run a race. I'm going to finish a race.
And I'm still going to run a half marathon one day. Just not right now.