In 2004 I ran my third marathon, the Chicago Marathon. Having had a grueling experience while foolishly running the New York City Marathon while injured the year before, I was thrilled to be injury free and running a flat race.
I ran my first three marathons in a pretty simple fashion.
I wore cotton, didn’t have a fueling strategy, a time goal, or a GPS watch on my wrist. Heck, I didn’t even know how to use the lap function on my Timex watch.
My training was as simple as my gear. I ran for time, not pace or distance. I ate a carb-heavy, low-fat diet. I refueled with bagels and lox. I didn’t strength train, get enough sleep, foam roll, go to physical therapy or give up dairy.
I knew very very few people who had qualified for Boston and no one who was vying for a BQ time in their next race.
And ya know what, I loved nearly every single minute of nearly every single run because being a runner and calling myself a marathoner was enough.
Now, I stress over too many minor things. It took me way too long to find the perfect running shoes for this season. I still can’t decide what shorts to wear for the race. And with a mere ten days away from the start of the race, I haven’t quite nailed down my race day fueling strategy.
Every single option for every single question a marathoner can ask is answered in a different way by nearly every single runner visible on social channels giving me the option to second guess the decisions I have made for my next marathon, the 2014 Chicago Marathon.
As I sit here in my kitchen wondering why I’m taking my taper so seriously (and by seriously, I mean I haven’t ran since Sunday) and why I’m not motivated to lace up my shoes and go for a run, the answer is clear.
*Alternative title for this post: “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?”