Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A marathon decision

I've been training for my first marathon, in June, since the end of December. It's been a goal of mine for about 1 1/2 years, and I've had to put it off due to my chronic illness.

Since I have adrenal fatigue, I must be very careful and conservative with my training. My body doesn't respond to exercise like the normal person's body does.

For one thing, I don't have as much energy as most people. My doctors have told me that 60% of my body's energy goes to deal with my illness, and that a lot of people with my condition are considered disabled!

So I have to make every training session really count. Rest days are as important as training days. Maybe more.

Things were going really, really well at first. I felt great after my long runs, even though all things considered, they weren't very long (6-10 miles)!

Then, something changed inside. I noticed my chronic fatigue (a symptom of adrenal fatigue) was 'flaring' up. I wasn't recovering like I should be.

But, I continued a couple more weeks, because I had a training rest week coming up. Once I got to my rest week, I used it to fully recover and I felt great.

Last week I started up my training runs again. I did one 8 mile long run and one 10 mile long run.

After much consideration, I've decided to be smart with my health and push my marathon back. I'm still going to do one, but not the one in June.

I'm shooting for the Malibu marathon in November. This gives me many more months to very slowly climb my mileage up and rest when needed. I'm hoping by taking it very slowly, my body will adjust much better.

It was a tough decision, but I feel comfortable with it. Here's why. I asked myself: "Why do I exercise? To stay healthy or to push and push for a goal that only matters to my ego?"

Reaching a goal is great - unless the cost is my health. No, I want to cross the finish line in better health than when I started my training. I want to be a good role model for health, not just for reaching a goal. And that's exactly what I'm going to do!

Have you ever had to make a hard decision like I did? Please share it with everyone!