Why I’m Pulling Out Of The Belfast Marathon

I decided to pull out of the Belfast Marathon today. It would have been my tenth but I realised I was fighting a losing battle and was nowhere near ready for it, both physically and mentally. I’m disappointed with myself but I knew it could well have been an even bigger disappointment had I turned up on the day unprepared. Marathons are brutal. They will chew you up and spit you out if they see a chink in your armour.

The disappointment and frustration is also tinged with relief. I was dreading the prospect of long training runs on my own which would have eaten into the already limited time I have at the weekend. I’ve been without a running buddy for some time now and, while I largely enjoy running on my own, it’s tough plodding 20 miles along deserted country roads with nobody to keep you company and take your mind off the discomfort and pain.

I still plan to run the Omagh Half Marathon next Saturday. It’s my home town and I’ve already paid the entry fee so I’m determined not to miss out on it. There will be less pressure on me now and I’d be happy to complete the course in 2 hours. That’s almost 1/2 hour slower than my Personal Best but my days of killing myself to run faster and faster are long behind me. I’m 100% with my place further down the field these days.

Running, for me now, is about keeping fit and mentally healthy. It makes me a better husband, father and person. I’m not interested in strutting about adorned in medals and bragging about my exploits on social media. That was the old me. Which is why I love writing on WordPress. It’s me. Good days, bad days. What you see is what you get. Warts and all. 26.2 miles can wait for now.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

47 thoughts on “Why I’m Pulling Out Of The Belfast Marathon

  1. You’ve gotten so much wiser on me!
    Who are you?🤔😳

    Kidding aside. Really happy ‘you’re happy’ with your decision! That’s all that matters in the end! Your overall happiness.


  2. I don’t much like running so kudos to you for keeping yourself fit and determined like that. It’s hard exposing yourself on a blog and you and I both know how therapeutic it can be. I look forward to reading future posts as well as older ones.

    Always wanted to go to Ireland. Ah…well, maybe one of these days.


  3. hiya steven, sorry you had to pull out, but there will be other runs, other marathons, i think you made the right decision especially if you werent mentally or physically ready!


  4. This must have been a difficult decision but sometimes the difficult decisions provide the greatest relief. I was due to do the Chester triple – 10k, half and metric (26.2km) marathon but, like you, I just wouldn’t have been ready. It was disappointing to cancel but the right thing. There will be other marathons, or halfs, or simply run for what it gives you.
    Take care x


  5. It’s good you realize your limits. Saying no to something can be incredibly hard. But sometimes it is the best thing you can do.


  6. Good job taking care of yourself. I would hate to see you in pain again like after the run with the toothache. That made ME hurt just reading it. You are gaining wisdom and also passing it on. Love it!!


  7. I understand. My uncle trains year round for marathons. It’s kind of his thing. His sense of dedication amazes me, as yours does as well. Good luck with future marathons.


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