Thursday, August 19, 2010

Go Ahead Call Me a Quitter

Quote from one of the books I am currently reading, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki:

"Some people start to practice Zen just out of curiosity, and they only make themselves busier. If your practice makes you worse, it is ridiculous."

Thank you Suzuki! I recently quit training for the Twin Cities Marathon and this just reassured me, again, that I made the right choice. Yes, I said it. I quit. I am a quitter. I kept forcing marathon training on myself even though it was making every single day stressful.

If I didn't run I felt guilty, even if there was no time or I was on vacation.
If I did run but not far enough I felt like a failure.
If I had a bad run I felt hopeless.

After a couple of months of this combined with a very painful hip injury and other running problems I finally said enough. I started running because I loved it, it made me happy. I trained for a half marathon because it was a fun goal. I wanted to train for and run a marathon because I thought it would be a fun challenge. It ended up just being a challenge.

And you know what? I am so happy to be a quitter! I am in no way a failure. I went for about a 6 mile run yesterday and it was so fun. Without the pressure of running 35-50 miles a week or having to fit a 15 mile run into my weekend (thats over two hours of running for me...) running is now SO fun again! It was very hard for me to quit because I could reason my out of it with thoughts like "other people can do it" and "you're just being a baby!". Well, when we compare ourselves to others we will always fall short on some aspect. My training was making me worse, and it was ridiculous.

Who knows if I'll ever actually run a marathon. There might be a better time in my future where excessive amounts of running fit into my life/schedule. For now I will be happy, not jealous or with feelings of inferiority, to stand on the sidelines of the TC Marathon and cheer on the other runners. The saying "to each his own" really does apply to me in this situation.

Being a compulsive goal setter I'm already on to my next (shorter distance) running related goal. 23 minute 5k? 1:30.00 half marathon? I'll let you know if I commit to a goal ;)

Are you a goal setter? Is it hard for you to say no or quit things even when it is making your daily life worse, not better? Did you count the number of cliches/inspiring quotes I used in this post?


  1. I just came across this (even though you posted over two years ago!) The SAME exact thing is happening to me...with the exact same race.

    I was a happy-go-lucky pretty good runner who had a couple half marathons under my belt, and lots of shorter races. I was having a lot of fun, and I was actually pretty good! So, obviously, the next step was a full marathon. Boy was I wrong.

    I just did a 16-miler last weekend in prep for the Twin Cities Marathon, and it was, in a word, not fun. My aches and pains were not fun. Not being able to do anything the rest of the day because I was so tired was not fun. And now I have a weird hip/leg injury that may side-line me anyway (MD appt pending).

    More power to you for being a quitter. I think I'm going to join the club. What a happy place to be :)

  2. When I feel lack of strength to stick to my training regime, I usually support my body with nutritional supplements. Super Army Formula by Military Grade is a perfect energizer for me. It is available at amazon: h t t p :// don't like to take any kinds of chemicals, but this supplement is natural. It gives me perfect energy and tone. I enjoy my workouts and I like to go beyond my limits.