Saturday, November 17, 2007

What to do What to do?

Help me decide. Please.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, November 22 is the 2007 Atlanta Marathon and Half Marathon.

The Atlanta half marathon was the first race I ever ran. That was 9 years ago. I'd only been running for six months. It was a huge accomplishment for me and I loved the challenge. Not to mention it was just the thing to stave off that holiday weight gain.

And I've signed up every year since --except in 2000 when I was 7 months pregnant with Carmella. I missed it in 2001 because I woke up race day with a chest cold and it was pouring rain. I ran it in 2002 6 weeks pregnant with Beau. In 2003 I trained and registered but ultimately decided not run since I was nursing an infant every three hours around the clock. Sleeping seemed more important at the time.

I have run this race in rain, wind, sunshine and freezing cold.

It is my favorite race.

In 2005 I decided to step it up since I was not seeing improvements in my times. I trained for and ran the Atlanta full. It was my first marathon. Needless to say this race is important to me and I plan on being there next Thursday whether it is for the half or the full.

But really I want to do the full.

Yes, I know, I just ran a marathon 10 days ago. I've recovered from that. I ran 10 miles totally pain free on Thursday. Sprinted out the last part of 6 miles uphill on Wednesday. I've run all week except yesterday and probably won't today. And that is because I seem to have caught the kids' cold. I feel pretty sure I will be well by Thursday but I am resting, taking it easy just to be sure.

The other reason I want to run is because last year Thanksgiving became the saddest day my family has ever experienced. Last year when I ran the half I ran crying; thinking of my nephew at Children's.

I tried to make deals with God that day. I tried to make deals with Evan. I told both of them that I wouldn't quit, I wouldn't ever quit because he, Evan, couldn't quit. Considering my lack of sleep, coming off bronchitis and my heavy heart I actually ran a good race. But it didn't matter. God wasn't in the mood for making deals with me that day and we lost our little Evan.

So Thanksgiving will be a painful and sad day. And I plan to run, sick or bad weather, to remember my nephew. But just like how 3 years wasn't enough I don't think 13.1 is enough. I think I owe him more of my mind that day. Not to mention the pain of the marathon might, at least in my thinking, somehow assuage this horrible heavy pain of loss.

I know.

I am being naive.

But believe me, I know nothing can ever hurt more than the pain of losing someone precious in your life forever. So I don't think for one second running a marathon is going to do that. But. . .

Okay, I know this notion sounds totally masochistic--and really I am not like that-- but I can't help but think if I indulge in a little physical pain I can somehow manage the mental anguish a little better. Yes, it may be an apples to rutabaga thing but it is the best I've come up with so far: because physical pain, in my opinion, is always easier to manage. You can name it. You can placate. You can get through it. It is this other pain-- this loss--I just don't know what to do with; how to manage. Shrug, I guess my thinking is if I can manage the physical pain then maybe I can manage the other. Maybe so, maybe not.

Also, I think running for almost 4 hours is a nice way of praying.

So yeah, that is why I want to run the full.

My problem is this cold I now have and the weather says a possibility of thunderstorms. I would rather not run through rain on race day. Certainly, I'll do the half in rain but after OBX I really don't care to pack it in for a full marathon in the cold, pouring rain--especially if I also have a cold. Just sounds like a recipe for pneumonia.

So what do you think? Encouragement would be helpful. Opinions please.

I have to register by Sunday. Cost for half is $35. For full it is $50. I can switch--or register-- at the expo to either the half or the full but the price for both goes up. So if I register for the full and switch to the half I don't think I have to pay any extra. But if I sign up for the half and switch to the full then I will have to pay $35 more.


  1. Not only did you run a full marathon 10 days ago, but you ran HARD and achieved a well deserved personal record.

    Although you think your body has recovered because you're not in pain doesn't mean it's still not under alot of stress in the micro-cell level. Compound that with the cold you're having (which shows you're not fully recovered too) AND possible thunderstorms, I wouldn't even think about doing a half-marathon, not alone a full one!!!

    Your main concern should be to fully recover from the stresses of your marathon and become stronger than ever before, NOT break you body down further with the possibility of a full blown injury by running another marathon so very soon.

    I know you don't want to hear this, but you did ask: I vote AGAINST running the full marathon, with running the half-marathon a BIG "maybe."

  2. Register for the full but keep the possibility of switching to the half VERY open. Then you can see how running, life, cold, and weather go and make a decision before the expo.

    Whatever you decide, it might be best to leave the Garmin/watch at home and just run by feel, and not worry about time or splits.

    I was so sorry to read about Evan--that is unbelievably sad. I hope the running will help you heal.

  3. Hey Ms Natalie,

    I also think that you should register for the full and if the cold hasn't resolved and the weather is all messed up...drop it to the half. As long as you don't have any physical problems there should be no reason that you can't do the full especial since it sounds like you really want to do the full. You do training runs that are 24'll have two weeks for your body to catch up and at this stage with all the previous training in...I think your body will handle the full fine. Get some drugs in you to help control the symptoms for your cold...lots of fluids, chicken soup and rest as much as possible...don't go out there on your training runs and decide to do 20 miles. ;o)

    Get well, Feel better,

  4. I just did the NYC marathon and I feel really strong and want to do another while I feel this great. Wiser people than I have wrote articles about race recovery, so I'll be good and wait...but I keep browsing for cheap airfare to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Marathon on December 9.

    Another thing that stops me is that it would be really hard on my family. Sometimes I am the one who receives support (like during an endurance feat), and sometime I need to be the one that gives support to them. I'm running the half this year as well. It'll be fun, but I'll be home by 10 a.m. and it won't kick my ass so that I can't be there for them on Thanksgiving.

    This year I'm doing the half marathon down Peachtree and then the full marathon in my kitchen. Organization is the key.

  5. okay this is what lala thinks you should do. The half. don't even think about the whole. you're sick, you just had a great race-just enjoy how good you did and let yourself enjoy that instead of pushing yourself into what will most likely at about mile 18 feel like you're in running hell.

  6. Did you listen to the podcasts that I txted you about? RECOVERY - it's very important. Can't get stronger if you don't rebuild after a stress - etc, etc.

    I get it about Evan but maybe you could torture yourself by making Thanksgiving dinner instead.

  7. Nat, Have to say I agree with Bruce and Steph. I will keep your family in my prayers as Evan's one year approaches. Dorothy

  8. And, I know that your are voting too.

  9. Steph
    I only voted once :}

    And FTR I'd rather run a marathon that make a turkey any day.

  10. takes longer baking a turkey than it does running a marathon! ;-)

    Go Natalie!

  11.'s Sunday night...inquiring minds want to know...What race did you register for?

    Hope you're feeling better Ms Natalie,

  12. I signed up for the full but I am still undecided as I still have a cold and the forecast says thunderstorms. Can't decide if I should have anothe day's rest (I've had 3! Unheard of for me) or run and swim today.
    At any rate I am leaning more towards half this morning but seriously, it changes from minute to minute. I have to make my final decision by Wed at the Expo.

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  14. PS it does take longer to bake a turkey than run a marathon! Good point Charlie!
    See, and now I am thinking, "maybe if it is just drizzling like it was in 99 then I could do the full . . ." as I blow my nose. What the hell is wrong with me?

  15. I'm going to be selfish and say that you should run the half with me and Dee Dee :-) With that said, I REALLY think you need to become a marathon maniac! LOL. You deserve it!

    Here's another thought for your run on Thursday. Evan is free from the weight and worry of this world. Set your spirit free on the run Thursday, and you two revel in the shared joy of the run.

    Great post, Nat! Hope you feel better.

  16. I saw we might have thunder storms on Thursday! I sort of doubt it but if that turns out to be right I think you should just forget the running at all. Slosh, slosh, slosh-how much fun could that be? lala

  17. You know me. Eat lots of food and no running is my vote. I am saying a prayer for Evan and the family.