Home » Injuries » Fear Of Injury Or Just Being Smart?

Fear Of Injury Or Just Being Smart?

Maybe a little of both?

With two days to go until PDR, I was still feeling conflicted when I woke up this morning.  And I don’t even know why because I honestly knew the answer.  By lunchtime, I was willing to make the decision that I knew was best.

I am not running PDR Sunday.

I have been conflicted over this race since I ran Avalon on Sept 5.  This is one of my favorite races and I have looked forward to it all year.  It was my goal to run this back when I could barely walk from my injury.  All my hard work was for this race.  And then suddenly, I just didn’t want it anymore.  At least not enough.  But I could not figure out why, so I made no decision and continued to give it some thought.  Perhaps I just needed a break and some time to think.

As it turns out, I had a lot to think about.  I came to several conclusions as to why I was feeling such a way coming into what was supposed to be my comeback half-marathon but it always came back to one thing–> I am almost paralyzed by my fear of re-injury.  And it has led to a bit of self-sabotage on my part with training which has thereby kept me from being prepared for this race.  And maybe if I knew that was what was happening all along, I could have stopped it, but honestly until I assessed the situation honestly with myself, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.  And once I realized it, it was really too late.

If I learned anything, I learned that it is never a good idea to race when injured.  And no, currently I am not injured- at least no injury has been diagnosed- but I have been having this pain in my shins.  It didn’t bothers me unless I was running hard or after about five miles and it wasn’t even all the time.  But it was enough.  And it hurt after seven.  And I expected to run thirteen?  I did.  But I haven’t run in almost two weeks and truth is, I haven’t really wanted to lately because I don’t want to push through pain/soreness.  In addition to feeling like something is up, I also am feeling slightly burned out.  The combination of all the variables just wasn’t adding up to anything good.

Yet…despite all this knowledge, I was still conflicted until today.  And then it hit me…at some point it became clear that I was only truly conflicted because of my fear of disappointment.  I hate to think I have disappointed those who support and believe in me; and I really hate to think I have disappointed myself.  What if I was just being paranoid…what if there is nothing wrong?  But then again…what if there is…what if??  You know what happened the last time I second guessed myself…I did not run for over two months.  Way back in February when I thought my hip pain was nothing, I ran a half-marathon and ended up with a torn hip flexor.  My gut told me something was wrong but I was so afraid of disappointing people and myself that I ran the race anyway.  Right now, my gut tells me something is up with my body- no clue what..shins, burnout…whatever- but I feel like my body needs a break.  Running thirteen mile is not a break.  I will never regret running that race in February; it was one of my favorite races of all time.  But hell if I am going to make the same mistake twice!

So in the end, like so many other races this year, I have decided to skip this one.  And maybe it is out of fear of injury.  Or maybe I have finally wised up.  Either way, it still sucks.

I am trying to remember how far I have come this year- they said at first that I would be lucky to be running by June and lucky if I raced at all before fall.  Instead of giving into that theory, I busted my butt and was back out running in the middle of April and racing by the end of May.  And I went on to not only race all summer, but almost every weekend and I piled up the PR’s.  So is it disappointing to give up another race?  Of course.  But instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I am trying to remember what I have done and what I will do in the next few months.  I still plan to do Warrior Dash and now that I have had a break, I am going to start picking up the miles in preparation for Philly Half.  I fully intend to still run that race.

I tried to write this post a few days ago- but I wasn’t ready and I was overemotional about it.  Now, I feel at peace with the decision and ready to go cheer on my friends while they race.  I already feel better about getting out there and running a few miles…starting a new training cycle for Philly…I already want to run again.  I’ll be able to run just to run…I mapped out a two mile loop by my house that I plan to run a few mornings a week to get a base going. I went from being stressed out and sad to peaceful and rejuvenated.  Man, letting go feels good!

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11 thoughts on “Fear Of Injury Or Just Being Smart?

  1. I think it’s a wise decision, there will be other races and this particular one will be there next year. What’s the point if you get another injury? What are you trying to prove then?

    You’re not a disappointment, you’re smart to make such a decision. Have fun at cheering at your friends.

  2. Jill – first of all, congratulations on making a great decision. If your mind, heart and body are all not completely “in” – it is not time to race. I really believe it is as simple as that. I know there is conflict going on and a level of “disappointment” in having to pass up a race you were really looking forward to – but just think how much better you will feel standing at the start of Philly in November.

    Athletes know the difference between pain and injury – and it sounds like to me, you’re a little gun-shy right now and don’t want to end back on the IR list.

    No shame in that, hell, it’s pretty damn commendable. Just take your time getting back, know that some soreness is to be expected when you ramp back up and increase the intensity and frequency of your runs – totall normal! – and be smart in knowing when to back off a bit.

    Before you know it you’ll look up and you’ll have had 3 weeks of running without the slightest twinge and you’ll reallize that you are completely “back” and ready to roll.

    Have fun out there volunteering and cheering – I think the day after the race you’ll be ready to get back at it 100%.

    Best from TX! You’ve got this!

  3. I totally feel for you but I think you are being smart. I am icing my heel after doing multiple stretches as I read this. I have finally accepted that I am not running my marathon and it feels good not to be conflicted. Good for you

  4. Glad you’ve found peace of mind.
    You had an intense summer schedule, you’ve earned a relaxed fall and if it culminates in a strong effort at Philly Half, you’ll be even happier with your decision.
    Perfect cheering weather, have a great time.

  5. You know what will make you feel better? If you update your sidebar with all of your races since June 5th. Then you can actually see how much you’ve already done.

  6. I know you made the right decision – it’s hard sometimes to be a smart runner. But you want to run for a long time, not just a few races this year! Good job on listening to your gut!! Big hug to ya!

  7. i am sure you had fun spectating and cheering. whether it is fear or wise, i still think it is a good decision. i mean, you don’t want fear dictating your actions, but like you said there were a few other things going on and the fear of re-injury is definitely validated. plus now, you definitely didn’t hurt anything and you can continue to rebuild/progress and run multiple half’s next year!

  8. You made a good decision! A race isn’t worth being hurt again. And when you run for fun and for yourself, you’ll see you accomplish a lot more.
    It’s smart to follow your instincts. You know when it’s right for you. When you do Philly, it will be amazing because you’ll be ready… and sure of yourself!

  9. you have to listen to yourself, you know what’s best. you made a good decision and don’t worry about letting people down. this is your running career and you want to be participating for a long time to come!

  10. I totally think you are doing the right thing. Having an injury messes with you, making you second guess everything, so I think it’s always safer not to run if you think anything may be wrong. I have had to skip a few races too for that reason and feel like I am disappointing others… but we aren’t. Just ourselves.

    Luckily, you had an AWESOME AWESOME summer of tri PRs. I mean, you blew my mind with ALL OF THEM! I was so inspired coming here reading them. What a comeback you made! So take time for yourself now 🙂

    Hugs!

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