My marathon race card has
been empty for the last several months. Earlier in the year I was
kicking butt and taking names, running marathons in several new destinations on
my quest to run the world.  Now that the
autumn marathon season is in full swing, with races from NYC to Berlin to
Chicago to Greece, I got nothing.

Nothing that is unless you count envy, because I’ve got plenty of that as I watch the race reports and Facebook updates roll in week after week with runners sporting their race bibs and flashing smiles as bright as their race bling. 

In autumns past, I was that bib sporting, smile and bling flashing runner. This time last year I was reveling in the afterglow of my 2nd marathon in France. The year before that, reflecting on a run that spanned two continents and the year before that, I was immobile yet elated after completing my first marathon in Amsterdam.

Istanbul Eurasia Marathon Medal
But not this year. Running a
race every month between January to June kinda took its toll on me. The races
were great and the destinations – Marrakesh,
Jerusalem,
Madrid
– were places I’d long wanted to go. However, with the exception of Madrid, I
was on my own and while traveling
alone can be glorious
, the amount of preparation and planning that it takes
to be away from home and things not fall apart – arranging childcare and play
dates, meals or at the very least having the fridge stocked, etc. – can be
draining.
Des Alpes Maritimes (Nice - Cannes) Race medal and backpack

It was after I missed the
start of the half
marathon in Reykjavik
in June – a race I’d wanted to run for a long time – due to circumstances totally within my
control
and not paying attention to some important details that I realized
I needed to slow down (which is hard to believe is possible considering how
slow I already am as a runner).
I spent the summer traveling
with family and friends, and while I still ran, going
“sight-running”
in different places, either on my own or with an organized
tour, it was the bare minimum needed to
keep my “run the world” status active

And even though I actually signed up for a couple of races this season,
but realizing that I’d jumped the gun, I canceled.
Sometimes it gets to be too
much and it’s ok to step, or in my case run away from it for a minute
and take a break,
like I once did with traveling
. And now that I’ve stopped and caught my breath it’s
time to toe the line, implement a training plan and amp up the mileage so that
I’ll be ready to sport my race bib and flash my smile and race bling and
conquer more destinations in my quest to run the world for the spring marathon season.