Book Clubbin’ and Why I Stopped Running Road Races – Don’t Hate Me!!!

Hey friends! Happy HUMP DAY! This week is just flying… probably because I had Monday off πŸ˜‰ .

I woke up yesterday morning in the midst of a terrible nightmare. Do you ever jolt awake and still feel like what you were dreaming about really happened? UGH.

Then I headed to my sister’s 7:00 am spin class, which put me in a much better mood! The theme of class was “Selena vs. The Weeknd” so it was a fun, heart-pumping playlist.

I headed to work and picked up Starbucks on my way in. I drank that and ate a big mug of flax oatmeal and SO many strawberries.

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I ate lunch outside: a salad with green leaf lettuce, frisee, radichio, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, and a light balsamic dressing. I had a Greek yogurt for dessert!

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I went on a little walk along the river after lunch because it was so nice out (still not fall enough, though!). The rest of the workday flew by – I had lots to catch up on and had to attend a few meetings. I snacked on a Chocolate Brownie Quest Bar later in the afternoon.

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I left the office at 5:30 ish and took the subway home. For dins I cooked up a big stir fry with tofu, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, jicama, bell peppers, radishes, celery, and lots of Sriracha drizzled on top.

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And then I left for book club! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this month’s book was “The Disaster Artist” by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, about the production/filming of the movie “The Room” (a movie sooo bad that it’s good). We had some fun discussions, drank many bottles of pinot grigio, and snacked on cheese and crackers, my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, avocado hummus, etc. (I ate/drank a little too much :/ ).

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I got to pick our next book! I picked “The Given Day” by Dennis Lehane (my mom said I’d love it, plus I read his book “Mystic River” and really enjoyed his writing). This book’s set in Boston at the end of the First World War, and is about two families – one black, one white – in a “battle of survival and power” during this hard time. I’ll let you know how I’m liking it – picking it up from the library tonight πŸ™‚ .

Frankie picked me up around 10:30 and we went to bed as soon as we got home! Solid Tuesday.


At dinner on Sunday night, my mom’s boyfriend (who’s an avid marathoner and triathlete) asked, “Hey Marina, since your foot’s all better, when are you gonna run your next race?!”. I felt sort of bad answering, “Never”.

So I wanted to talk a bit about why I’ve chosen not to run road races anymore, or at least not in the foreseeable future. I know that many of you guys are really into road racing, so please don’t be mad πŸ™‚ these are just my personal thoughts/experiences! I’m also curious if anyone else has had similar feelings.

A little about my racing background – I’ve run one marathon, four or five half marathons, a 10K, and lots of 5Ks.

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Me, my sis, and her friend at the FREEZING start of the 2014 B.A.A. Half Marathon!

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Friends came to watch me finish the 2013 B.A.A. Half!

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I’m not even sure what’s going on here. A Jingle Bell 5K where we ran 12+ minute miles? Frankie, me, my mom’s bf, my sis, and my sis’s bf!

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My sister, Fletcher, and me at the finish of another B.A.A. Half! Jeez how many times did I run this race?!

The half marathon was definitely my favorite distance! I PR’d at 1 hour 38 minutes – about 7:30 min/mile, and that was actually after a poor training cycle with lots of getting sick/missing workouts, and after (stress) eating the biggest meal of my life the night before…

Anyways, here’s why I stopped running road races:

  1. I became too obsessed with times. If I didn’t hit a certain time during a training run, it would ruin my day and I wouldn’t be able to let it go. I considered that workout a failure, even though it definitely still helped me make progress.
  2. I couldn’t deal with the stress the week/night before the race.Β I couldn’t focus on anything a few days before the race – I kept thinking of being at the starting line, shaking from nerves, and potentially not hitting my goal paces. I always overate the night before a race because I was so stressed/needed to get my mind off of it, which made me perform even worse the next day. Why did I do this to myself?!?
  3. It was bad for my body.Β I’ve had so many injuries, and probably had two pulled hamstrings for a year. And I kept running. I thought that my injuries would magically go away and that everything would be fine. I overtrained myself and my body hated me for it 😦 .
  4. It messed with my eating habits.Β See #2 – I often stress ate before a race. I also was constantly famished during a training cycle, so I found myself eating large amounts of food and actually gaining some weight, which stressed me out even more. My body was totally thrown off.
  5. I didn’t have time for other workouts. I’ve always loved yoga, but I rarely practiced during a training cycle, which in turn made me lose flexibility. I also never had time for spinning, hiking, pilates, and the other activities I loved.
  6. I put training above all else. If getting in ten morning miles meant being late to work, I would do it. If getting in a track workout meant skipping plans with friends, I would do it. I don’t know how it got to this point, but training became my priority.

So after my half marathon back in 2015, I told myself I was done. I stopped racing, and I have been so much happier. Now I workout to feel good and to treat to my body. I do whatever workout I’m feeling that week, rather than force myself to do a tempo run (for example). I eat to fuel these less intense workouts, so I’m eating less and feeling much healthier. And most important of all, I stress so much less!

This is just what works for me, of course.Β  I am still so inspired by all of you training and racing, and I love hearing your stories! I also have MANY training plans that I’ve written up (for almost every race distance), so if any of you are interested let me know! BTW, I still totally sign up for silly holiday/costume 5Ks, just for fun πŸ˜‰ .

I hope you have a great hump day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

What is the #1 reason you run road races, or DON’T run road races?

What book are you reading right now?! Tell me about it!

❀ Marina

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27 thoughts on “Book Clubbin’ and Why I Stopped Running Road Races – Don’t Hate Me!!!

  1. I totally get this too. I got really obsessed with races too. The numbers, fueling and hitting times can really take over your thoughts.
    I decided to take a break too. It’s been awhile for me… so I’m kind of missing it and might go back at some point… but I totally get what you are saying. You have to do what’s best for you!
    ANd holy moly girl… you are FAST!!!! You’d loop me! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ok first wtf is frisee?

    I love your reasons you dont run races – that sounds like it works well for you, and seems like it took a lot of stress away from something you now can still do and enjoy!
    I have 2 reasons why I like to do races: 1. I love working towards a goal. it helps me stay motivated and push myself. 2. I love to use races as a way to either track progress or celebrate a training cycle (or do fun holiday ones too). I try not to stress about doing every workout/hitting the paces and that helps me to just see it as a fun hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha it’s a type of lettuce (an endive, to be more specific) – adds good texture to your salad πŸ˜‰

      And thanks! I love your reasons for running races πŸ™‚ can’t wait to see you progress and make your professional running debut at this year’s turkey trot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post! I can see how easy it is to get obsessed with road races, I’ve been known to overdo it when it comes to running. It’s so great that you realized how much it was taking over your life and are doing what’s best for you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s great that you have listened to your body and figured out what’s right for you! I have some of those same issues, though I am on a quest to do one more half marathon and get a better time! I guess I’m a glutton for punsishment. Oh and your food looks so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s great that you identified something that wasn’t good for you and you made the choice to stop doing it! I was never a huge runner, but back in High School I did a half marathon. It was fun, but I didn’t love running– it caused anxiety and stress for me, so I said “goodbye” to running!

    I love how you do a book club! I hardly ever read books- just blogs and articles, so I really need to get into that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I SO hear you on the running. I’m actually running my first 5K in a LONG time (as far as ‘official’ races go!). I’m excited about it now, but I had to take time off from doing it formally and listen to what I actually wanted to do! Good for you for finding a groove you love!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely relate to this post!! Although I loved the atmosphere and excitement on half marathon day, my Type-A personality could not handle the training and nerves. I also found that distances over 7 miles really stressed my system and would cause GI distress, even days after the run! I’m all about lifting and little 5Ks now πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Book club seems like a fun way to socialize with a purpose! I wouldn’t even guessed that there was oatmeal underneath all of those strawberries. πŸ™‚ Delicious eats!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Book Club is called Wine Club for a reason! LOL!
    I do like running races. When I can run again I’ll probably do some 5K/10Ks. However, I found that anything over that distance is when the injuries start for me. Too many years of abuse for my poor knees!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooops, I just commented on your most recent post asking what your book club book was, and now I know haha! Yay for eating lunch outside! I always love getting outside for a meal.

    I used to run road races a lot a few years back and the half was my favorite distance, too! I don’t anymore for similar reasons… just not worth the stress and work for me, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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