Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Okay people. It can’t all be poop and breasts and dogs with happy pee. Occasionally, I do obsess about my first love, running. Between the stress over Kenza’s eye, the distractions of daily life, and the shiny, shiny baubles tempting me EVERYWHERE I go, I’ve been able to ignore a decision I really must make.

To half or not to half – that is the question.

From the end of last year through this October, I’ve run three marathons. I’ve trained for these, I ran them (albeit slowly). I’m proud of this.

But I’m just not sure I have it in me to do a marathon again so soon. I really want to – now that I’ve established that I can do it, I feel I’ve set a precedent I should follow. Doing a half seems like cheating. But my body tells me every day that I am not ready for a full marathon.

The Austin Marathon is only 60 days away, and I really must make a decision soon.


Blogger Kate said...

I say listen to your body - it's telling you something.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Mica said...

Listen to your body. If you don't and get injured, you will regret it!! There is nothing wrong with running a half.

11:53 AM  
Blogger 'Zilla said...

Hmm, it almost sounds like more than your body, your *brain* needs a break. There's nothing wrong with a 1/2 marathon... :) Might be fun!

11:57 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

see, i read your post and it all translated to:


but if that's what you need to do then i understand. mostly.

12:00 PM  
Blogger psbowe said...

I say do the halfer, take on the whole enchilada when the weather gets better. :)

12:42 PM  
Blogger ~The Modern Tragedy said...

I say do it, and readjust your bodies intake of nutrients, I dont think tits your training for running it might be your diet...

but im no expert thats only an amatures opinion

12:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

My two cents is that you might enjoy a different training regimen by choosing the half, perhaps with a little more speedwork. The fulls can be boring training, not to mention tedious.
After my full on 1.29.06 I'll try to bounce back for a half in Tampa on 2.25.06.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Hilda said...

I imagine that being close to all those events should be a great temptation. But if from now you are feeling like you don't feel like going, should be because the joy of running at the moment is about just training.
Running the half should not be cheating at all.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Curly Su said...

I just decided to do the Mardi Gras half instead of attempting a whole again...it was a hard decision, so I know your pain. Good luck figuring out what is best, but realize that there is ABSOLUTELY no shame in running 13.1m...

2:02 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Listen to that bod... 3 marathons is quite awesome. Nothing wrong w/a half. And like David said, it could give you a chance to do some speedwork. I know that's my plan post-Jan.15th :)

3:19 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...


If you taking 14 days to taper, that leaves 46 days to train. This translate to 6 1/2 weeks.

As everyone said..listen to your bod.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Dirt Runner said...

Run the full. Why drive three hours for a Half. You just ran a half in Dallas. Does Neiman Marcus do Half? Marathons are just as much mental as they are physical and you've already done the distance 3 times.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Jen_runs said...

It is a good sign that you want to do another marathon but I'd say listen to your body. It's telling you something. There is nothing wrong with doing a Half :-)

PS Satan is actually a girl, not a bloke! Yes, I was supposed to see her on Monday but I had a client lunch instead. I'm off to see her today for a full hour. I wonder if I'm going to be able to type afterwards!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Dirt Runner said...

Susan, I just got my 2006 ultraRunning calendar today. Here's what is says for Sept."If you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired... You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going." George S. Patton

4:36 PM  
Blogger Bolder said...

evil voice whispers in Susan's head:

'super-sprint triathlon, it's a try-a-tri, you know you want to, you know you want to shop for all that tri gear, ... think of the benefits of cross-training, think of the new cool people you can meet... think of the new header 'Tri with Susan'... think of the adoration of the blogging and non-blogging crowd... you know you want to Susan... don't let your daughter grow up to be a runnner Susan, she'll never get a date to the prom unless she TRIs... kahmon Susan, you know you want to TRI...'

4:37 PM  
Blogger runninturnip said...

I would give your body a rest. Everybody needs a break once in awhile. And a half is definitely not cheating!

5:11 PM  
Blogger robtherunner said...

Well I am sure you aleady know what I am going to say.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Cassie (TIGGS) said...

do a half :)

give your bod a break.

5:55 PM  
Blogger susie said...

Just think how short the half will seem! You don't have to prove anything to anyone but yourself.

6:15 PM  
Blogger a.maria said...

hmmmmm, vewwy veww intewesting.

i say... half.

you'll have a quicker recovery period, and so there will still be mucho time left to chill a bit and then do a full later in the year. by doing the half, maybe afterwards, you'll be like "oooh, i could so kick some full m'thon bootie" and then you'll be in that much better shape!!

plus austin is just so fun, and by doing the half, you'll have that much more time to enjoy youself while youre down there!

see? problem solved!

6:17 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

ok, kate has explained that if you run the half instead of the full marathon, you get to spend more time with us. i was thinking that no full meant no austin visit, and that was making me sad.

HALF MARATHON. do it do it do it, you know you want to.

7:06 PM  
Blogger BuckeyeRunner said...

Listen to your heart. If my heart isn't in something, I can tell I won't be happy forcing myself to do it. If your heart is telling you to sit this one out, and just do the half, that is FINE! There are more marathons in your future!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

I think that if you push yourself to do the marathon and you end up feeling really bad during or after then it could sour you on running. I am this way, however I usually need something like the next big thing to get me working out and sticking to it. Just remember you can do a lot in 60 days. If you pass on this there wil be many more in the future.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Iron Benny said...

I don't think running a half is cheating. In fact, if you're aren't going to be ready, you aren't doing yourself favors. If we truly run to be healthy and feel good, then doesn't the half make more sense? Only you can make this decision, but I'm sure it will be the right one.

11:48 PM  
Blogger Jennifer P said...

Susan, be my pace bunny for the Hypo Half. We can have frozen snot together! I'm sure I could find you little pink bunny ear muffs somewhere...

11:55 PM  
Blogger TryAthlete said...

I don't see why 26.2 miles should be seen as the epitome of fitness. You don't need to run another to prove you're fit. Where does it go on from there? Will you have to run 10 marathons to feel you've achieved something? What about ultramarathons?

I'd say "do a half", and try to do it, say, within 1:50. My training is pretty much similar to yours - well, not that similar, really, since you do about 30-40 miles per week more than I do(!) - so I'm pretty sure that time is within your reach.

Bored with marathons? Maybe try adventure racing as well. Try
www.adventureteam.com . I think they do events in Dallas.

3:38 AM  
Blogger iliketoast said...

This dilemma has troubled me all day ... I don't want to give bad advise and you know my feelings about listening to your body (pull my finger) ... so .... how about the Austin Half is part of your program to your next marathon? See you in Canberra April 9th? .... Apparently an Australian characteristic is to raise the ptich of one's voice at the end of a sentence to make it a question. So please read with a slight lift in pitch at the of these comments when you see a question mark.

4:49 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

I reckon its a safe bet that you are not ready for a full marathon - the mind might be willing but maybe not the body. Doing a half is not cheating - its a different type of race.

I have been shopping too - mostly for christams but every ow and then i get seduced by a certain item of clothing or shoes and so in the last couple of days I have managed to buy a top, dress, cami and sandals!

As for food, its the chocolate that i'm having problems with - I can't stop eating the stuff. Doesn't fit well with marathon training or the new dress i've bought and which demands that i don't put on any weight.

Anyway have a happy and safe Christmas and a wonderful new year. May 2006 bring you lots of happiness and PBs!!!

6:03 AM  
Blogger Rae said...

It sounds like you already know what you really want to do....Marathon training takes SO much time, I'm so in awe of the three you've already finished!! Happy Holidays!

7:14 AM  
Blogger Al Carter said...

DO the half - you don't want your first full to ruin you for the rest of the season. Ease into it and do the half. Listen to your body..it's a tellin' you something!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

I have to agree with everyone else -- listen to your body. Doing a half marathon isn't cheating, especially if you're not 100 percent prepared for the full. Look at the half as more simply a warm up for a marathon down the line.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Mia said...

I loooooooovvvvve what Dirtrunner had to say. It rings so true. Nothing wrong with taking a break if that's what you want to do. With every long run, my body says stop this insanity, but my mind pushes me through. You've got a good base, 6 1/2 weeks, you can do it, but only if you really want to.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Flatman said...

I think everything has already been said...you're so popular... ;)

1:15 PM  

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