And there is no marathon.

Well, technically there’s still a marathon, I just no longer will be running it.

Yes, it makes me feel like an absolute and complete failure and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever get to run another marathon, ever, but this year I will be running none. After such a hassle to register for the marine corps marathon it also feels like such a waste.

I thought that easing myself back into running that I could be back in shape, running the whole thing by September, but here we are at mid-August and most days I still can’t even run a 5k non-stop.

Yep, I had an amazing 9 miler a few weeks ago with Jen, but that was the exception. I usually have no one to run with me, which makes the long runs very long, or as it happens, makes me cut them short so I have company for them.

I am slower than ever. My body still feels odd after childbirth, don’t know if things really are off, if it’s because of breastfeeding (Ellie is a little over 5 months now and still exclusively on breast milk), if it’s because I’m so out of shape, or because I am still hanging on to so much of my pregnancy weight, but nothing feels right when I run anymore. And running is just no longer fun. It has been miserable.

I also thought I would have at least 3 of my former running buddies to train with, I warned everyone I was out of shape and needed patience, everyone was ok with it, until I got here, of course. I think they thought I was kidding. Or fishing for compliments. Because one of them ran once with me then never again. The other one? Same. And the third got to run with me twice.

I can’t possibly expect any of them to run with me every single run when they have goals of their own, but I’m not going to lie, I expected a bit of support, I expected more than just one run. Instead, due to lack of company (if you’re a long time reader you know I was never one to enjoy solo runs — that was the exact reason I stopped running when we moved to Manila), I ended up cutting my long runs short so I’d have company for those miles. And short runs get no one across the finish line.

My feet also bother me on and off. I went to the doctor, going to PT, and got news I might even need surgery (my arches are just too damn high). I just have to schedule an appointment with a specialist. Who is in Baltimore. And I’m scared shitless to call, even though I’ve been hanging to his number for 3 weeks now.

Anyway, I type this in the dark, on my iPhone, as I nurse Ellie at 5:20am to get out in a few minutes for a run. I signed up for a half marathon in a month, and to be honest I don’t even know if I can do *that* but now I’m officially training for a half, not a full. I thought selling my marathon bib would make me relieved, but it doesn’t. I still feel like I failed. And I still hope running will be enjoyable again some day. Because right now I dread lacing up my shoes and heading out the door. But I haven’t given up on running just yet.


Filed under Runs

11 responses to “And there is no marathon.

  1. Cat

    I’m so sorry you’re struggling, Carla. This mommying thing changes everything, eh? You’re only 5 months postpartum…don’t beat yourself up. I’m one year out and honestly don’t have the time or energy to train for a marathon.

    There’s a running moms group around here I heard about recently. If you’re interested I can search for the info. Good luck!

  2. juliana mezzomo allain

    Carla! A Ellie só está com 5 meses! E você ainda está a amamentando exclusivamente… vá com calma. Seu corpo precisou de 9 meses para gerar a Ellie, não é em 1, 3 ou 5 que ele vai voltar ao que era antes! Ter um filho muda tudo, não quer dizer que você não vai poder voltar a fazer o que fazia antes, mas vai precisar de um pouquinho mais de paciÊncia. E olha que você já fez muita coisa! Uma mudança para outro continente, adaptação a casa nova, tenho visto você saindo com o seu marido sozinhos para jantar! Quando eu tive o Matheus, eu ficava tão cansada da amamentação que não queria fazer nada. Dá um tempo para o seu corpo. Quando a Ellie começar a comer outras coisas e depois que vocÊ parar de amamentar, vai começar a se sentir com mais energia e seu corpo também vai responder a isso. Aproveita esse tempo com ela! Esse sim passa correndo! rsrsr Quanto aos seus amigos, talvez seja só o caso de conversar com eles pedindo um pouco mais de apoio. Bjs!

  3. Shukri

    Carla I really think you are being so hard on yourself. You are only 5 months postpartum and your body is not even healed. I had to cancel the marathon twice because each year I was supposed to I get pregnant. Sometimes things are not meant to be and you just move on. You are not a failure – just bad timing. When one door closes another one opens so there is a reason you had to cancel. Running should be fun and I am sad that you don’t feel that way about it anymore. I think rather than thinking in terms of training; you should just run for fun. The training might be putting too much pressure on you. Small steps….

  4. I’m so sorry you’re feeling down! It sucks not to have the support you thought you’d have, and I know how frustrating it is to look back and see where you used to be. I’m glad you haven’t given up on running. Give yourself some grace and know it’ll take a bit, but you’ll come back!

  5. Hi, I recently found your blog while looking for FS-blogs (research for bid season and whatnot. Subscribed to yours on my reader because I wanted on some insights on running regularly abroad. Anyway…. I decided to comment because I’m a noob runner and have had two babies and I’m familiar with your current struggles (i’m so sorry to hear about them, and the lack of support). If you ever need someone to run with, I’m in the DC area (VA side) and would be up for a long (or semi-long) run on weekends. I’m currently training for the MCM 10k.

  6. Carla! I actually saw you on Saturday morning running by Iwo Jima. (I was in my car taking my mom to work). That really stinks about having to drop out of MCM and sorry for the lack of support! 😦 A few notes:
    1. I know there are other running groups that you could join with people your pace. Just have to find them. That’s what is great about running – people of all paces! 🙂
    2. BUT, I think taking care of your foot is more important. Prevention so you don’t make it worse when you run. Maybe surgery isn’t the answer? Get a 2nd opinion?
    3. Baby steps with running. You had a BABY. Your body needs adjustment, but at least you aren’t just sitting at home. You are running and you will get there. Besides, when you run, you’re always lapping the person on the couch. 😉
    4. Good luck with the half-marathon training! I think it’s a good goal. You can do the half. You did 9 miles, you can do a half. 🙂
    5. Don’t give up on running! Running is supposed to be fun – not stressful!

  7. Oh, honey. I know. I swear I know. Babies change things in ways we never realized possible. In a year, you’ll look back and you’re going to realize all of the awesome stuff you DID accomplish this year. And running, albeit shorter distances and slower miles, will still be one of those. Along with raising a sweet little girl. And moving. And and and! Be kind to yourself. You’re NOT a failure and you will continue to run. I’ll be in DC in a month and I’m super sluggy and would be happy to slosh alongside you. We can pop the kids in the strollers and go, just slower. Accept the changes as you can, realize the differences, and keep moving forward. Your feet? Part of the problem may be the changes from the pregnancy. The ligament stretch and your feet flatten. Mine are a full size larger than they were three kids ago. I had to change running shoe brands and take up cross-training (I now bike and do yoga) because running alone was too hard on my body in general. But I still love it. And I still run. Because it’s who I am.

    You’ll find your pace again. You will.

    • Nicole

      Are you at oakwood right now? We’re at the Arlington one. I have two small ones I have to push in the stroller and my pace is glacial but I would run with you during the day. We are also FS. Email me if you’re interested. I have a very hard time running alone. Hope running picks up for you again.

  8. Edie

    If you ever happen to be around Falls Church, I’d be happy to run/jog/walk with you. I’m a mom of two little guys, and it took me well over 18 months to get back into running. I’m also a new FSO heading to Manila for my first post and would love to hear more about your experiences (with kids, dogs, running, etc.) there. Cheers!

  9. Having a baby really does change everything! You are being too hard on yourself. Train when you can for your half marathon but don’t try and run it for a new PB, just run it for fun 🙂 I promise that by doing that your love for running will begin to slowly return again!

  10. jend420

    I’m so sorry you have to let this one go! I know you’ve been looking forward to it. But this IS the runner life, right?! How many articles and blogs have you read about being forced to admit reality and take care of yourself at the expense of a goal? It’s perfectly normal. You need to enjoy running, and that takes time. You need to slowly build that mileage back up so you don’t hurt your body. You need to take the time to run slow and enjoy the process again. Revel in the past memories, but look forward! Think about the many many years you’ll have to do races or just chill out on a run.

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