How Much is Too Much?

I find myself at a crossroads in my racing career. I basically run races for the sake of running them and seeing personal improvement. I’m certainly not breaking any speed records with my times. I signed up for my first trail run with Jen later this month, and the description looks insane. It’s only a 7.2 mile run, but it’s basically up a mountain in the woods. And it’s going to be cooooold. Then I got an email this week for a discount on registration for the Atlantic City Half Marathon in April. I already have the Napa marathon, a 5k in Vegas, and Broad Street Run (10-miler) definitely on the calendar for spring. There’s a solid chance I’ll sign up for this AC half, and probably the Oddyssey half in Philly, too. But I’m struggling to find a balance. On the one hand, I need the motivation of races looming over my head to challenge myself and keep me going. On the other hand, these races aren’t cheap, and I do like to have a social life. When I was training for Philly last fall, I feel like it consumed my life for months. I’m certainly not taking Napa as seriously, but the time commitment is still a big consideration. Running for health and fun is completely different than running to train for a 26-mile race. So how much is too much? How do you find a balance?

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4 thoughts on “How Much is Too Much?

  1. ahh, this is something that every runner faces. last spring i found myself signing up for many many races mostly because it motivated me to get my butt out the door…paying race fees definitely provides motivation, but sometimes the constant race schedule can be draining. and if you’re not racing to PR, sometimes finishing a race “just for fun” can feel sort of “meh”.

    that being said, it sounds like you’re challenging yourself with new things (trail races! destination marathons!) and that’s important in keeping things fresh and exciting. maybe you can plan on taking some time off from racing this summer when the beach and rooftop happy hours seem more appealing than long runs?

    • Glad I’m not the only one with that problem. I will definitely break in summer, mainly because I can’t handle long runs in the heat. I don’t think I’ll ever have the excitement or runner’s high I got from doing my first marathon, so I’m trying to do new races in new places to change it up.

  2. I’m in a running rut too (as you could probably tell)! Aside from hopefully doing the Chicago Marathon in October, this year I want to get into triathlons and I want to do a Tough Mudder with shorter distance races in between to keep things interesting.

    By the way, I’m loving both yours and Jen’s blogs. It is always nice to see that there are other people out there going through some of the same things!

    • Thanks! I wanted to do a tough mudder as well, but the reg is $150! That’s more than most marathons… hard to justify coughing that up.

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