Alrighty, well here it is. I can’t avoid it any longer. I’m NOT running CIM. “Oh no, what happened?!” is what you’re probably wondering. Nothing, nothing happened. For over a year now, I have been pushing my body to its limits and bottom line, I’m exhausted. After working for years to finally meet my goal of qualifying and getting into the Boston marathon, it left me in this weird space of, “what’s next?” For us runners, it’s always more, more, more! Faster times, new PRs and another race to conquer. For weeks during training I could tell that my runs felt “different.” I didn’t want to give up and feel like a failure because I’ve had hard training cycles before, but this was different. I didn’t want to listen to the voice deep down inside that told me my heart wasn’t in it. Quitting wasn’t an option! Until one day I set out to run 10 miles with my husband biking next to me and he could tell I was struggling. I ran 8 and he said it was time to go home. I was pissed. The schedule said 10, and if it says 10 you HAVE to run 10. He looked at me and said, “if you could tell yourself three years ago you were going to qualify for the Boston Marathon twice, would that be enough?” “Of course,” I responded. “Let it be enough.” I realized after this conversation I was avoiding the truth within myself. My heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t want it that bad and it showed in my runs. Running wasn’t fun for me anymore, and every time I headed out to run mile after mile, a little of my happiness seeped away. I finally decided to stop marathon training and stop running altogether. YES, I stopped running for over a week! And guess what? I survived! I actually didn’t miss it. I would feel like a complete hypocrite if I always preach about, “listening to your body & always RUN HAPPY” yet I wasn’t doing either. My body needed a break and it became very obvious when I didn’t miss going out for runs. Taking a well deserved off season from now until January is just what I need to get ready for the Boston freakin’ Marathon! Don’t get me wrong, eventually I’ll start running again, but when my body feels it’s ready. I will still be joining in on all the CIM festivities and spectating so HARD! So from one runner to another, always take care of yourself first and listen to your gut! Your instincts are there for reason. Races will always be there, but your health and happiness can never be taken for granted.