i want to want to run a marathon

Running a full marathon is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

I want to want to do it.

But, the truth is, at this moment, I kind of don’t. And because I don’t, I feel like I’m doing it wrong.

Things may change. I firmly believe in the whole “Never say never” philosophy, and there is a legitimate chance that once I complete my two upcoming half marathons, I immediately register for the first available marathon and start training for 26.2 miles.

Somehow, I don’t see it happening. And I feel like that means there’s something wrong with me as a runner for not wanting to go there.

I have such great inspirations and role models around me. So many friends who have run many marathons or who are running their first ones. Heck, I have one friend who is running a 50K in a week and an acquaintance regularly runs Big Sur. I admire these women, these athletes, so much, and I am so proud of them and excited for them. But I just can’t ever see myself lining up with them at the start of a marathon.

Also, I like longer distances. For some reason, as most runners know, the first three miles suck. What comes after is the good stuff. And even though my long run are physically and mentally challenging, I love them. I loved 10 miles and I’m going to love 13.1 miles. I just don’t see me loving 26.2.

Does that make me not serious?  Am I doing this wrong?

I feel incredibly guilty that I don’t want this. That I’m not serious or dedicated enough. Is that not the most ridiculous thing? I am disappointed in myself for not voluntarily throwing myself at the change to run more miles, to wake up even earlier, to spend more time adding to my training.

I don’t even know why I’m worrying about this right now. There’s enough to keep my mind busy, what with three big races looming over the next few months. This shouldn’t even be remotely on my radar, at least until December.

But, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t rattling absurd thoughts around in my brain. So I add this one to the mix, and I’ll try not to spend too much energy on it.

Anyone else ever feel this way? Did you change your mind or did you just own your lack of interest?

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44 Responses to i want to want to run a marathon

  1. I’m running my first marathon in January! I can tell you that I love the half marathon, I love to run, I love to train but I have NO idea if I am going to love 26.2. I’m looking at this race as a “test”, getting my feet wet, seeing how I feel before, during and after. I know if I don’t give it a shot I will always wonder. I’m going into it eyes open, fully aware that I could absoultely hate it or absoultely love it. Either way, I’ll know 🙂 It’s all a learning experience.
    I have no doubt that if/when you decide to do a marathon you will conqure it!
    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen @karenlovestorun recently posted…FlexibilityMy Profile

  2. Darlene says:

    Feel exactly the same way. I kinda want to but then again I don’t know if I can commit to that kind of training. Right now I will do halfs from time to time.

  3. Diana says:

    Oh, girl. Do I ever know how you feel. My group of runner friends are all marathoners and/or ultramarathoners. They run 100+ miles a week even when they’re not training for anything. My highest mileage week so far has been 20 and I doubt I’ll ever get above 30. I like the IDEA of having run a marathon, but right now I’m saying “I don’t want to run a marathon.” The problem is that a marathon would take me 6 hours (at least), and I am NOT up for that. I’m just not. I don’t have it in me. Maybe one day, but for right now, 13.1 is as far as I am willing to go. If I wake up one day and I’m all of a sudden running 9 minute miles, sure. Maybe. But 13 minute miles for 26.2? No thanks.

    But no one can tell me (or you!) that the only way to be a “real” runner or a “serious” runner is to run 26.2. That’s crap. You’re a runner because you run, end of story. Doesn’t matter the distance – you’re out there every day (or every other day, or whatever), running the streets, the trails, the treadmill, what have you. You are a runner, just like I am – whether we ever run 26.2 or not.
    Diana recently posted…Well, that’s disgusting…My Profile

  4. I feel exactly the same way. It doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy running or aren’t a runner; just that you like a certain venue. Maybe some day, I will train and run a marathon but right now, I’m loving the half and 5 and 10k!
    Anna Louise Downing recently posted…First Year Runiversary!My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I just feel like I SHOULD want it. Maybe part of it is that I’ve been doing so much in the 5K arena (we really don’t have a lot of 10Ks around), and so it’s not in me to push for more, yet. I don’t know. I’m usually one of those people who has to push to the next thing, come hell or high water, so feeling satisfied with a half is just bizarre to me.

  5. I started doing half marathons nearly 5 years ago, and up until earlier this year said i had no desire to do a full. The I said I wanted to do one before turning 35. And then I had a bad race experience, and it literally changed my running life. I immediately signed up for 3 more races, and transferred from a half to a full in January. Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared to death. Its going to hurt. A lot. There will be tears, I assume blood at some point, and enough sweat to fill several fishtanks with salt water.
    Cyanne (RunStretchGo) recently posted…RnR Philly: A Race with lots of FirstsMy Profile

  6. I understand completely. I love the half marathon and the challenge I feel it gives me. I did finally decide to run my first full next year in concert with my 40th birthday. It may be the first and only and I’m sure there will be points of sucktitude along the way but looking forward to the challenge. I will always stand by my 13.1’s though!! We’re all runners no matter the distance!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run! recently posted…A Week in Workouts and Good Eating!My Profile

  7. Betsy says:

    I understand that feeling! I go back and forth about running a marathon all the time and what it comes down to is me not wanting to give up other things to train for it. Training for a marathon is like having another full time job and right now, that doesn’t interest me.
    Betsy recently posted…What I’ve Been Up To…My Profile

  8. You are NOT doing it wrong and having no desire to run a marathon does not make you any less of a runner, not at all!

    Around this time last year, when I was in your shoes, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of running a marathon at all. It just seemed nuts to me. It wasn’t until I stood at the finish line of the Disney marathon, watching all sorts of runners cross the finish line, that I had any desire to do it. The finish line of a marathon is a really amazing place.

    I know I’ve told you this, but marathon training is insane. I ran for almost 3 hours this weekend and that wasn’t my longest training run. It’s exhausting and overwhelming and right now, I’m just not enjoying it. I really think that the half distance is the sweet spot for me — I loved the training, loved racing the distance, and I feel like I can really push myself to do well there, all while enjoying it.

    It’s different for everyone, don’t count yourself out of a marathon yet, but don’t stress over it (I’m trying not to laugh as I say that, because I think you may stress more than I do) and just enjoy where you are. Run your next two big races and see how you feel, do you want to challenge yourself for a farther distance or to get faster? Decide what will make YOU happy as a runner and go for it. Whatever you decide, you can do it.
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Weekly Workout Recap: August 26th – September 8thMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      We could have our own Stress Olympics! LOL!

      I didn’t realize you weren’t enjoying the training. I think that would be tough. I am really in love with training right now and I don’t want to lose that. It’s what gets me out the door every morning.

      So many people say that it will just hit you, so I guess I’m kind of waiting for that. But I can’t imagine it, either. Because I’m so happy right here and right now, and I’m mad at myself for not wanting to move past that.

      • It just takes up so much time. The running part is fine, it’s the running for over three hours that’s just blah. Our weekends are so busy and it’s the only time I really get quality time with the kids, it’s hard when I spend so much of it running.

        I want to enjoy the training, I just don’t. Half training was better for me, with where I am in life, I think. I could crank out 10 miles in under 2 hours and be home before the kids were ready to go, or before a soccer game. It’s hard to do that with these upcoming runs (16 this weekend, 14 next, 18 the next..)
        Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Inspired Yoga + Run RecapMy Profile

  9. I’m signed up for my first marathon this October. I’m in the thick of my training and feel as though this race might be a one time thing for me. I really don’t enjoy the super long runs and the time that this training cycle is taking away from my family. I think the half marathon is my sweet spot. But, if you get curious like I did, it’s worth giving it a shot. Do what makes you happy!
    Lisa Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Dumbo Double Dare: The RacecationMy Profile

  10. I say you run what feels true to you! I THINK I want to run a marathon, but I wasn’t planning on running one until I was 25 or 26 (so that’s 2 or 3 years). Now, however, through my training for the TOT 10-Miler, I’ve been feeling great and want to run a full sooner than I had anticipated. I don’t think it’s wrong for you to not want to do it. I know some runners who don’t ever want to run races…or who don’t want to run more than a 5k. Do what feels best for you 🙂
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Turtle Krawl 5k Race RecapMy Profile

  11. kim says:

    I ran my first (and only, so far) marathon in Disney. I barely thought about it, just followed the training, and knew that I would have fun running in Disney. I will do it again during Dopey in 2014. My first *real* marathon will be in October 2014. That one scares me! Until you are sure, I would wait. It is definitely something you want to be into, before you tackle it, so that you have motivation when you hit that wall!
    kim recently posted…BEAT CANCER shubeez winner!My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Agreed. If I do it before I’m 100% ready to commit, I’m going to hate it and have an awful experience. I do think if I do one, it will be in Disney. Or else somewhere equally cool. Someone on Facebook recommended that if I choose to do it, to pick one that is absolutely irresistible and I think that’s good, solid advice. We’ll see.
      runswithpugs recently posted…i want to want to run a marathonMy Profile

  12. I am so with you on the first 3 miles sucking! I ran my first, and only, marathon last year. I will do one again, probably within the next 12 months, but it was really hard to jump from 13-26. Like you said, there should be a 3/4 marathon for practicing!
    Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides recently posted…Monday’s MotivationMy Profile

  13. I don’t think any runner has to do a marathon, half, or even 5k if it’s not what they want to do. You’re a rockstar runner no matter what. I think a marathon is something you really have to want to do. The thing that pushed me over the edge was charity. I have a goal and motivation to work now. Otherwise, I know I’d wuss out halfway through training. And I don’t plan on ever doing another. I say keep on keepin’ on and see where you are after you kick serious ass in your big races.
    Ashley (@FiddleDeeAsh) recently posted…Marathon Monday: Week OneMy Profile

  14. Shannon says:

    I totally agree. I am loving the half distance but have no desire to do a full at this point in my life. Maybe someday. I feel like the half training fits well with our family life and doubling that takes it to a level I’m not ready to do now.
    I don’t think it matters what distance you prefer….if you run, you’re a runner!
    That said, I do have this little thought in the back of my mind that pops up for doing a 1/2 Ironman for my 40th birthday in a couple years.
    Shannon recently posted…Weekly Recap 6 weeks out!My Profile

  15. Shoot, I’ve been running for YEARS, and ran 14 miles the other weekend because it sounded fun, not because I have a race coming up.
    In theory should I want to run a marathon?
    Yes.
    Do I?
    Not really. And what’s wrong with that.
    Running is awesome and wonderful and inspiring. Marathons are only a small facet of running 🙂
    Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com recently posted…Weekend PeekMy Profile

  16. jan says:

    Don’t feel guilty!! Saying you don’t want it NOW doesn’t mean that you don’t want it EVER. Go with what feels right!
    jan recently posted…Concrete PoetryMy Profile

  17. Run your half marathons and enjoy them! Don’t compare yourself to other runners, and don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re a new runner that’s ALREADY training for a half marathon! Embrace that and celebrate your many accomplishments so far. AFTER your halves, if you feel like doing a 14 or 16 mile long run, go for it, let your desire to run dictate the race you sign up for, not what other runners are doing; and don’t feel obligated to run a marathon just because you’ve done a half. Let your heart tell you what to do! 🙂
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Dulles Day 5K on the Runway Race RecapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I’m not comparing myself to others, so much as I’m trying to figure out why that desire for more hasn’t kicked in. Maybe it’s coming. Maybe not. I just love all the excitement I feel for my friends, and I can’t figure out why it doesn’t seem to turn around and apply to me (in my head). We’ll see what happens after those halves.
      runswithpugs recently posted…i want to want to run a marathonMy Profile

  18. yes yes and yes!!!! I’m feeling the same way!! I’m signed up to run my first full in December but I seriously struggle all the time with do I REALLY WANT to do it?! AH, so glad you’re feeling the same. Not running a marathon ever is NOT a bad thing! Halfs and shorter races are totally where it’s at 😉
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Meal Planning: Week OneMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Well, I hope you really want it because it’s almost here!!!! I know you’re going to do a great job!

      In my head, it’s just the natural progression of the beast. From 5K to 10K or 10 miler to half to full. And then …. well…. I’m pretty sure I’m not an ultra kind of girl, but maybe I’ll look at a relays or something else.
      runswithpugs recently posted…i want to want to run a marathonMy Profile

  19. Suzan says:

    I never wanted to run a marathon…
    until I crossed the finish line for my first half.
    I know I want to now. I don’t know when, I don’t know where, but I know I want to do it at least once. I want that 26.2 sticker. I want to know that I can push myself beyond that half marathon comfort zone.
    They aren’t for everyone and not running a marathon doesn’t make anyone any less of a runner.
    Suzan recently posted…Guess Who’s BackMy Profile

  20. Jaycie says:

    I see a pattern in the responses and it matches mine as well. I used to want to do a marathon and then I ran my first 1/2 and decided that was enough for me. I did have feelings of being inadequate in the runners arena. Four 1/2 marathons under my belt and that nagging competitiveness has finally made me want to train for a marathon. I am going to run till 18-20 miles before I commit finically, but so far so good! Don’t let yourself be held to other people’s goals. However, knowing you I foresee you running one someday.

  21. Kathy Nguyen says:

    I feel the same way. I love the half and it is enough for me. I know I am a dedicated runner. I just don’t think I would enjoy it and I don’t want to take the time away from my husband it would take. Also I want to run for life and for me I think that means a half is my limit for my body. I would not worry about it.

    • runswithpugs says:

      I was really feeling ok with it. And then I was talking to my sister-in-law, and she asked about my running and said something like “you’re going to be running a marathon in no time,” and I started second guessing myself again. We’ll see.

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