Breaking The Curse

I have a Spring marathon curse.  I’m blogging about it to prove, in black and white, how ridiculous it sounds and how I have managed to make myself believe it.  I have it engrained in my head that every Spring marathon I run, I suck/bonk/give up/etc.  Yep, the Spring marathon curse.

Prior to 2010, I only ran Fall marathons.  My first Spring marathon was May 2010 (the Pocono Marathon).  It sucked.  The following Fall, I ran Steamtown.  It was awesome.  Next Spring, I ran the NJ Marathon.  Although I did PR by 6 minutes, I considered it a sucky effort.  Then in September, at the Lehigh Valley Marathon, I BQ’d.  See the pattern here?  Bad -> good -> bad -> good…which means my next marathon will be bad because it’s in the Spring.  Someone please slap me.

So why are my Spring marathons bad?  I managed to convince myself that I run slower in the winter, because I’m never fully warmed up.  Therefore my training suffers and I have a bad race day.  This is just ridiculous.  Yes, training over the winter is challenging and can be difficult but it can also be effective…just as effective as summer training.

The only problem, besides the fact that I’m crazy, is this Spring marathon is Boston.  It could not possibly suck.  I’ve waited 10 years to run this race.  How can I allow myself to get sucked into thinking I will suck/bonk/give up/etc. at Boston?

I’m already comparing my long runs and speed work to my last training cycle, overanalyzing to look for drastic improvement.  This can only end bad…especially for someone like me, when training “clicks” or all comes together later on.

I’m done working on the warped thinking.  I’m done comparing my current runs to runs this past summer.  What’s the point of working my ass off for 15 weeks if I’m going to let a silly, made-up curse take me down on race day?  Instead, I will believe in what worked for me last September – hard work and determination.

Do you have a particular distance or race that you feel is cursed?  

Summer or winter training – which do you prefer?  Summer all the way for me.  Oh, I’ll complain about the humidity but I love me a long, sweaty run!  


19 Responses

  1. Another alternative – sign up for a February marathon and have that one be cursed so Boston will be spectacular 😉

  2. I prefer spring marathons over fall… Congrats on getting to Boston, run it and enjoy every moment of it and dont get caught up on time, most people don’t PB Boston unless it has a huge tail wind


  3. The problem here is that you’re too analytical. Be lazy like me and never compare your training run times and the result is peace! 🙂

  4. Another way to look at it is that every other marathon is bad or good and it’s not related to the season…which means if you run a marathon before Boston, Boston will be good!!! But then that means you have to run another marathon 🙂 Seriously though, you’re just getting in your own head – you will do awesome!!!!

  5. I prefer summer training but some would argue that summer training slows you down due to heat and humidity (and some days you have to slow down for that, esp those 90+ days!). So, see – it’s just how you look at it! You’ve created feelings and associations of “failure” with winter training and spring marathons even though you could make the same arguments for summer training and fall marathons had you had bad marathons. Trust me, it’s all in the way you think about something!

    I think you should look at Boston as a celebration of 10 years of hard work and an opportunity to show how fast you can run. That way, you can’t lose!

  6. I think I prefer fall marathons because they (usually) are cooler after training in the hot summer. I think that helps me. I like running in the winter. Unfortunately come spring race day it can be too hot for me before I have acclimated.

    Don’t let it get to your head though. That would be the worst!

  7. My curse is the Philly Rock n Roll Half! I’ve run it twice. After round one, I was left with a messed up hip and IT band. Round two was the weekend after I ran the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 2010, and I had a messed up IT band AGAIN. As much as I love the race, I should probably NOT run it again.

  8. I feel your pain! I’ve trained for a bunch but not ran ANY spring marathons because I always get injured before the big day. I’m on a mission to not let that happen this year! Hard work and determination all the way – plus this IS Boston – totally different from any other spring race 🙂

  9. Haha, I echo everyone else’s sentiments– it’s BOSTON! There is no way it’s going to suck!
    But I also agree that fall marathons are far superior to spring ones! I’ve run 3 spring marathons and gotten my 3 worst times. Granted, all 3 times it was the freakin’ Flying Pig, which is notoriously hilly, but I still think fall marathons reign supreme!
    THAT SAID… Again, it’s BOSTON!!!!! It’s going to be awesome. 🙂

  10. I totally get this. I want to run New York and run it well but also enjoy it too. I can get so overwhelmed focusing on a distant goal that the simple daily tasks seem utterly impossible and stressful. It really helps for me to just focus on my next workout.

    And you are so lucky to get to run boston – something many dream of but few ever get to live it! It will be great no matter what…plus you can discount how much those crowds and a net downhill race can help you.

  11. ahhhh, i meant to write: you CAN’T discount how much those crowds and a net downhill race can help you.

  12. It’s in your head! Don’t think about it, just do your best. Run hard! You’re going to do awesome!!!! I can’t wait!!!!

  13. I have no valuable season/marathon race advice to add, because I’m a total novice. But, I will say that you’re going to rock Boston. You’ve been waiting for it for years, you’re training hard, you’ve got this!

  14. This is my 1st winter training bc I have never had the motivation. I am headed to Boston too so I am forced to train. I look forward to following your blog and your journey to Boston. Good luck!

  15. Totally sounds like something I’d do, but Boston will be awesome. I think spring marathons are essential (I’ve done a whopping ONE) because there’s no way in hell I’m getting out bed to run in single digits before work without that goal to work towards.

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