Have Any of You Ever Run a New, Longer Distance Race at a Time of Great Family Stress

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by happysongbird, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. happysongbird

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    I think most of you know that my mom is dying from brain cancer. She will probably pass today or tomorrow. I am "scheduled" to run my first marathon a week from Sunday. I have already dealt with 2 unexpected "strains" of sorts, one about 6 weeks ago that I can sometimes barely feel, one just Monday when I apparently accidentally stressed a hamstring muscle, which is mostly better today, but I was not able to run the last couple of days. I have run the 26.2 mile distance once, September first, and 22 miles on Monday (when I must have strained my other leg). I worked hard to get ready for this marathon, but I can feel the physical elements of stress and grief in my body, and the drag emotionally, and I really don't know if I am asking for trouble and unreasonable struggle during the race if I attempt this. I can be stubborn. I know how to push through discomfort. I just don't know if this is a good way to try my first marathon! My mom and dad live near me, so travel for burial is not an issue.
     
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  2. bfsailor

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    Just a few thoughts:
    First - all my sympathy for what you are going through. It sucks to lose a parent under any circumstances.
    Second - Hard to imagine anyone who uses the name "happysongbird" can let anything keep you down for long. :)
    I'm not a marathoner, but speaking from the experience of losing my mom years ago after a long illness, I think it's important to maintain as normal a routine as possible. Given the circumstances you may even feel a sense of relief after your mom is gone - her suffering will be over. That in itself may lift your spirits a little and reduce your emotional stress. Running any distance for me is always a stress reliever, so it may actually be therapeutic for you if you can manage it.

    In addition, you can mentally dedicate your race to your mom. What a nice way to remember your first marathon; trust me - as years go by you'll remember how her memory helped you achieve a great goal, rather than associating that time with her death.

    It's a very personal decision, and if you don't feel physically up to it, than skip it - there will be other marathons. But if it were me I'd go for it, and try to make it into a positive experience. Your mom would probably want it that way and I'm sure she'd be proud of your accomplishment.
     
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  3. happysongbird

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    Thanks, well put.
     
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  4. Barefoot Dama

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    I am very sorry that you have to go trough this type of grief once more Laura, my toughts and prayers will be with you and family.
    As far as running the marathon, I agree with what sailor said to an extent but I will be a little hesitant running the marathon this time.
    First of, the marathon distance is tough even going at it physically healthy and I don't think you're 100% healed so it won't be very wise to run it at this time and run the risk of injuring yourself even more. This is what I think but you know your body the best.
    Good luck!
     

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  5. happysongbird

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    Good thoughts.
     
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  6. Barefoot Gentile

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    I'm very sorry to hear this news about your mom, I pray for comfort to you and your family during this time. Now about the race, it's definitely a personal choice. Like you said you worked hard, and I say go for it. You can always drop out if needed, but plow ahead and definitely start! Maybe run this for your mom and think about her during the race and try to put yourself at ease, even though the marathon distance is challenging.
     
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  7. happysongbird

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    Thanks.
     
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  8. JosephTree

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    Yes, Laura, I wish you the best as you go through this

    For me, the run would be deeply therapeutic. I love to run. It recharges and relaxes me.

    You will listen to your body, certainly, but if running would help your spirit, go for it!
     
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  9. Sid

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    I wish you all the very best during these challenging times.

    I'm no expert on any of this. My understanding is that grief varies for individuals and even from moment to moment. This can make it incredibly hard to plan anything. It may come down to seeing how you feel the morning of the race.

    Another thing to think about is that a building or monument is not dedicated until construction has been completed. A mountain climber doesn't plant a flag until they summit the mountain. An Olympian doesn't dedicate a race to someone until after they win. It is challenging enough to do these things for their own sake.
     
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  10. Barefoot TJ

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    This is a very sad time for you and your family. I am sorry your mom is going through this. I am sorry for the pain you are feeling.

    How about cancel the marathon for now, and instead, just go out for a long memory run where you can clear your head and allow good memories to flow through.
     
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  11. happysongbird

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    Yes, that makes sense.
     
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  12. happysongbird

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    I have just been beginning to think I might not know until the last minute what I am up to.
     
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  13. happysongbird

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    That is definitely something I will consider. Thanks.
     
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  14. SI barefoot

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    How stress effects us is sooo situational that no one, not even our selves, can predict how it will effect us down the road. With that being said, there are some things that are generally accepted as truths with respect to stress's effects on us. It usually has a negative effect. It can lead to depression, illness, and other problems. Mind over matter (being stubborn) is a short term solution that can carry consequences down the road. Look at me, I was stubborn and ignored the pain in my foot during my last race. That led to a fracture :confused:. In rare instances a negative can be made into a positive, if why you are doing something truly comes from the heart (running in honor of something or someone). I'd suppose you need to ask yourself why you need to run the marathon. If you can be earnest with yourself, and there is a reason, and it feels good, or right, then go for it. If there are twinges of doubt or hesitation then you may want to reconsider. IMO, what should be done should be out of health's best interest. That is why we love doing what we do. If it feels forced, well then . . .
     
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  15. Bill B

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    Sorry to hear about your Mom! Lots of good advise here. Personally I would just wait and see how things manifest on race day. Maybe it will be a gorgeous day out, and you will be healthy, ready and stoked, maybe not. There will be other races. Best of luck either way, and I hope you find peace and the ability to move forward. Take care!!
     
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  16. Tristan

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    Some great advise above from everyone so far. Not much for me to add. But very sorry to hear about your mom and hope for the best and that you and your family can heal from this. Lots of opinions but like already said its hard to really plan this. Just plan to go by feel unless you decide to completely back out. I know how stress effected me, I've gone through some serious family issues this year on top of working shift work, and it had a huge impact on my health for a while. It very well could have also been hindering my recovery and promoting some of the leg issues I struggled with from winter right up through summer. I cancelled every race I had planned for this year all the way up to but left the marathon on the table to see how I felt when the time came. And I'm feeling strong now, I think.
     
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