I’m at marathon training week 7.  Every week for the last 7 weeks the week day workouts were fantastic and then the long runs would come … and go.  The week that I actually did the runs they were less than stellar.  I was exhausted, overheated, poorly hydrated or nourished.  Most of the time, I didn’t even do the long runs.


on a rare long run.  on MB’s bike.  with him running behind me.

This past weekend was particularly bad.  I had a 14 miler scheduled for Sunday.  On Saturday night we stayed out and up to 1 AM.  Sunday morning came and went and I promised MB that I would get it done in the afternoon after the sun started to set and it got cooler.  The afternoon came and went and after so much hemming and hawing I hit the treadmill to do the first half of the 14 miles.  And 4.25 miles in I was over it.  I wasn’t particularly tired or anything I just didn’t want to do it.  My head and my heart weren’t there with my legs.  I came back to the apartment and told MB “I think this Marathon is not going to happen.”

I reached out to my tweeps about their experience with deferring major races on their calendars.

Then, after that outpouring of awesomeness from my loves I sent a lengthy email to coach/BFF/brother from another mother, Jeff.  He sent the warmest, most honest reply.

Trust me I understand. I think you’re trying to get as many races in now that you can before you start your family. Take a step back and just look at the big picture Lauren. If you deferred MCM this year are you sure you’ll able to properly train and compete next year? How are you going to feel this year as MCM approaches and the day of as you’re standing on the side not competing? For me, it was very emotional when I couldn’t compete. Now I don’t want you to go through with MCM because of what I just said and have you suffer but think about it and think hard what is most important to you and Mark.

It seemed so simple after that email.  I’m deferring this marathon.

Of course I feel like I complete failure.  I haven’t cried but Iv’e done everything else.  I’ve raged, I’ve felt depressed and now I’m starting to accept it.  I’m not running the Marine Corps Marathon in 2014.  And I’ll run it in 2015 probably.

I can’t say enough how big of a failure I feel like — it’s worth stating again.  But I realized as I was trying to make peace with the deferment that I’m running 5 other major races this cycle.  FIVE.  Akron, The Great Race, The Tower of Terror Ten Miler, Wine & Dine, and the Walt Disney World Marathon.  I have so many chances to redeem myself even if it’s not a marathon distance.  Never mind the fact that I’m going to be surrounded by SO MUCH LOVE.  My favorite Team 4 Princesses and a Frog, my dearest Mara, my family and my bestie Msheed, Hilary at her first W&D and during her first marathon plus all of my runDisney L-O-V-E-S.  I’m going to have best fall.  I’m going to take the time that my body needs to really heal from my back to back marathons this spring.  And I’m going to have the best time.  And maybe some other things!

This isn’t a failure it’s an opportunity to do the right thing by my body and myself.

Have you ever deferred a major race?

16 thoughts on “Deferred

  1. Steffany R. says:

    I think this is the smartest decision you could have made. If your not having fun, then what is the point! There will be more races. There are ALWAYS more races. Keep on being you and being awesome! You are by a failure, you are stronger than most by making this decision! Xoxoxo u

  2. M (@ReadEatWriteRun) says:

    When you feel bad (understand feeling like a failure, but know you are actually a success and role model for others for doing this and talking about it!) and doubt your decision – it will happen, as the race draws nearer, friends run it and social media gets hyped up- go back and read the second to the last line in your post. THAT is what you can repeat over and over.

    You’ve listened to your heart and your head and made the best possible decisions you could for the whole of you (body, life, relationships) and that’s something to be proud of. Listening to yourself and making choices for yourself – with all the tugs of “should”, “want to”, “but” and the worries, fears and concerns – is a skill that will serve you well, and that some never develop. Far far better to defer than to train and get injured, or lose your love for running doing something that your heart isn’t in.

    May I suggest that unless you feel like you must (and can happily) be around to cheer for peeps running it, you and Mark take a nice weekend out of town that weekend and stay off social media? Reinforce your decision by making it as easy and pleasant for yourself as possible.

    Wishing you all the best. This decision took thought, guts, and honesty, and I salute you.

  3. Jenereesa @ ScootaDoot says:

    *raises hand* I was going to make Philly my first full marathon… until I realized that my heart and my head were both NOT into training. They have a half marathon option so I’ll be doing that instead but yeah, I know exactly how you’re feeling. My main feeling is that I need to run happy otherwise I’ll run miserable. Who wants to be miserable? Furthermore, who wants to be miserable for 26.2 miles??? ❤

  4. Haley (@runyinzerrun) says:

    You made the right choice! Guess what… I also had gotten a spot in the MCM lottery and I also will be deferring! I completely understand the difficulty you had making this decision and the moments of feeling like a failure. Yes, it feels very weird to defer, but that’s more time you can spend resting, focusing on short runs, etc. And thank you for tweeting/blogging about your experience to help de-stigmatize the word “defer” for the rest of us who are apprehensive about doing it.

    • lnrbailey says:

      OMG! NO WAY! It makes me feel better that I’m not the only person going through this. We’ll be back together in 2015!

  5. Mike van Mil says:

    Thank you for your candour and honesty! Great post and the only thing I can say is you have to do what feels right for you 🙂 Good luck and hopefully we meet at #WineDineHalf 🙂

  6. Entirely Amelia says:

    It’s a tough decision, but it seems like the right one. I had two marathons planned for this fall and I’m dropping the both. I really didn’t want to do it, but I knew it was what I had to do.

    • lnrbailey says:

      I’m glad you made the right choice for you, too, A! You’re one of my inspiration runners so even though I know it was hard for you it makes me feel better to know I’m not alone ❤

  7. Jeff S. says:

    Lauren you are NOT a failure! You are one of the STRONGEST, BRAVEST, CARING people I know! I am so FREAKING PROUD of you and your accomplishments and even more PROUD to call you my FRIEND!!!

    You call me Coach and ask me for advice but your post taught me what real courage is all about!

    Remember that Serenity Prayer I sent you? Say it daily. You are an inspiration to many! You are MY INSPIRATION!

    Coach Jeff

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