Accepting failure, giving up and moving on. This is what I need to do. I am in week 5 and I’ve failed multiple times. I keep trying to get back up, brush myself off and push through, but it isn’t working. I keep repeating the same pattern: ready to go on Monday but exhausted by Wednesday. I get up and try a long run Saturday and maybe get a run in on Sunday. I can’t complete 26.2 miles doing two, maybe three runs per week.

I need to throw in the towel, admit defeat. At this point, I don’t even want to drop down to the half. I just don’t want to do it period. I’ve done that half twice. I surpassed my goal. I want to move on to new goals, which was supposed to be the marathon. I need to sit back and reevaluate my goals and what I am capable of.

It’s difficult and painful to give up on a dream I’ve been working towards since my first 5k in 2012. I never thought I could run because of my asthma then I started running slowly on a treadmill and eventually moved outside. I really never thought I would race, but I had always wanted to do the UW-L Turkey Trot. I tried and I was hooked. Now I’ve done 5ks, 10ks, and several half marathons along with several distances in between to get to the point where I could complete 26.2. Everything over the last 3 years was for this moment.

And now it’s gone. I can’t do it. No matter how much I want it I am physically incapable of doing the training. I get up in the mornings, stiff and sore. I go through the work day only to have sore hips, legs, ankles, and feet. I have a desk job. I am not on my feet all day. I do make sure I get up and move around but nothing that should preclude me from exercising later.

I get home from work and practically pass out on the couch for a half an hour before I realize I need to make dinner. I am only 35 but I have no energy and my body seems to be falling apart. I feel I just got my celiac diagnosis and feel much better but now that my digestive system is healed the rest of me decided to cause problems.

I have dreamed of the moment I crossed the finish line and thought of how I would feel, emotionally and physical. Both exhausted and amazed. Fulfilled and empty. For now it will remain a dream. It may remain that way forever. I just don’t know at this point.


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.