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!