How the Marathon Passed Me By

Ten months ago I set the goal to run the Santa Barbara Marathon. That’s 26.2 miles, folks, that I was hoping to conquer. Those of you who know me and my history with the sport know it’s quite the leap from my last race completion. But running this distance became a “bucket list” item that I dreamed of completing, just because it is so difficult. I could have set my sights on the half marathon, to start, but why not just go for it, right?

A national organization dedicated to fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society called Team in Training caught my attention last spring, thanks to another parent in Warren’s kindergarten class, and inspired me to persue my goal. They train you completely and you collect donations for cancer research. It’s win-win in my book.

The Santa Barbara Marathon is perfect because not only do I live here, making it pretty easy to show up, but it’s also held on Saturday, unlike so many others which would require me to break the Sabbath to enter.

I was excited at the prospect of obtaining a goal that, 2 years ago even, I would have never had the guts to set. I told friends and family that I was going to do it. Everyone encouraged me and I felt like it was something within my grasp.

The race was yesterday and I did not run.

I didn’t even train. Because of some serious health issues (explanatory post to follow), I never felt up to running or really any exercise at all. For the last 7 months I have watched the calendar flip forward knowing that I would not be able to do what I said I was going to do.

And that’s the worst part. If I had never even mentioned it to anyone, I may have let it go and not felt like such a failure. But since I opened my mouth and told the world my plans, I felt like the girl who is all talk and no action. The one who says she’s going to do something and then just doesn’t.

That’s what I felt this past week each time I drove by the road signs reminding the community of the upcoming event. Just a big orange sign screaming at me that I did not complete what I said I’d do.

In the end I know it’s not my fault. I know I’m being a bit harsh. My health has taken the goal right out of my hands, at least for the time being. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s just my life circumstances at this moment. Hopefully, it won’t be forever. I want to believe I’ll try for it another time.

I had several friends that ran the marathon and half marathon yesterday, some for the first time. I thought about them many times throughout the morning, wondering how they were feeling and hoping they were completing the race they way they had planned. They all finished, and I couldn’t be happier for each one.

Way to go Rebecca, Esther, Nicole, Annie, and Cherry!! I wish I could have ran there with you. (Well, behind you, really, because I would have never been able to keep your pace!) But I was with you in spirit, I promise.


11 thoughts on “How the Marathon Passed Me By”

  1. If raising a set of twins through their first year doesn’t count as a marathon, I don’t know what does! You are awesome, Jeannie. I hope you feel better soon!

  2. At least your title is not “How I ran the half marathon I wasn’t ready for”… I was the one who never fully committed to anything and then decided to do it at the last minute, no one even knowing I was going to do it. There’s no shame in making goals, and there’s no shame in not reaching your goals. There’s only shame in not having any goals at all. The timing just wasn’t right for this one. These things are all a matter of timing, especially when you have young children and other health issues. You’ll do it later, especially if you have the desire. Besides, I did finish the half, but it wasn’t very fulfilling because I wasn’t able to give it my best. And I agree with Amanda – the twins were your marathon this year.

  3. I would second every else’s comments. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are always more years to come and you have done/are doing some amazing things yourself too!

  4. Jeannie, I agree with Annie. Setting big goals is so admirable. We know you well enough to know you are doing all you can. If the timing doesn’t work out on one (or many) big goals, that doesn’t make you any less amazing. One of my favorite quotes is “shoot for the moon. You may never reach it, but you’ll finish among stars.” I love it. You’re so much better for having dreamed than never raising your sights at all.

  5. You deserve an Olympic medal Jeannie, for so diligently mothering those 4 kids (and because 2 are twin babies, that medal needs to be GOLD). Peek at them in their sleep tonight and chant with me, “Marathon, Shmarathon…”

    I’m so sorry to hear there are health concerns. Please keep us posted, as you’ll be in my prayers.

  6. Wow, first of all, I’m reading this very late. And second of all, I’m really not as nice as the rest of your friends. But you already knew that. I was just going to tell you that you are being ridiculous :). But they are right. You are great and goals are good and you are amazing to still be an involved mom with twin babies and all that good stuff. And seriously, if Heavenly Father wanted you to run the marathon, He wouldn’t have let all your girly problems get in the way. So obviously he thinks you had other goals to achieve this year. So you can be sad, but you can’t be critical of yourself. Or I’ll tell you that you’re ridiculous again.

  7. I agree with everyone above, especially Christy! 🙂 And you can do the marathon next year. By then, your issues will be resolved, and you’ll have an amazing cheering team to keep you motivated. Love you!!

  8. I LOVE you! I’ve been wanting to do a marathon too… but unlike you I only set my sights on the half and I didn’t make that either… I also have absolutely no excuses for my failure. :o) Maybe we can run one together in the next year or 2 or 5. 😉

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