Does the 26.2 Sticker Expire?

>> Thursday, March 21, 2013

I recently had to renew the registration on my car, which led me to tip-toe outside one night + write down my license plate number (I can never remember it!). Anyway, I had somehow forgotten that I'm proudly sporting a 26.2 sticker on my bumper.

And yet it's been years since my butt has finished a full marathon or even trained for one.

My parents often proudly talk about their marathon-running daughter. They recently told me how impressed their neighbor was about the whole thing, and I was super quick to correct them. I was actually quite embarrassed, too. "I run half marathons," I said, almost scolding them.

Yes. I have completed that major feat on one occasion (Philadelphia 2009). It is an amazing accomplishment/milestone. Right up there with graduating college, getting my first job, getting married, having a baby. I DNFed at another (Wineglass 2010). I didn't make it to the start of yet another (Philadelphia 2010).

Three training cycles in all.

I have sweated out more 18-20-mile runs than I can remember. 
I have been injured.  Many times. Many ways.
I have been proud of my 8:45 long run pace, only to run well over 9 on race day. 
I have felt lousy when sickness made me miss "important" runs. 
I have simultaneously loved and hated the 40 to 50 mile weeks.
I have felt like a rock star -- mega-confidence and self-esteem.
I have said many times I never, ever want to run a marathon again. 
I have also been frustrated at not breaking 4:00 and vowed to do so.

So, should I take this sticker off my car? I'm not sure. As you can see, it brings me more conflicted thoughts than simply positive ones. I have no current plans or desire to run a marathon either. Well, aside from that beating the 4-hour mark. I go back and forth on "needing" to do that every few months. *** See my added "news" below!

In many professions, people are made to re-test and keep up certain licenses, titles, or other requirements. Otherwise, they are stripped bare. Is this much the same thing? Am I a runner who has run a marathon, not a marathoner? I think that sounds accurate.

What are your thoughts? Does the 26.2 stick or "marathoner" title expire? If so, when? If not, why do you think so?

I actually have some news that I'm hesitant to share. Yesterday I registered for this year's Wineglass Marathon (image source). Stephen and I went back and forth and back and forth about doing a marathon. In the end, we figured it'd be something good to "get out of the way" before we consider baby #2.

It's my DNF course, and I'd like to finish it this time around, you know? The race is the first weekend in October. I will be sharing much more as I train (my plan starts June 2nd), so I hope you'll come along for the ride. 

Using my half marathon time, pace projector says I can finish in 3:42. I'd just like to finish and break 4 hours. Oh, yeah. And not get injured during the race or training. That's my biggest concern.

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