Yesterday, I feared saying that. Today, I embrace it.
When I decided to train for another marathon I promised myself something.
I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. Namely, I wouldn’t spend my training time fighting away an injury and hoping it doesn’t get worse. I have already done that once. Undoubtedly, the injury got worse and the joy of running lessened through it all. I promised myself that, should the same warning signals happen again, I would listen. I would not push through expecting different results.
I think somewhere deep down I knew I needed to make that promise ahead of time…because I somehow had a feeling I would need to keep it. Sure enough, I’m going to have to keep that promise to my body.
I have decided to NOT run a second marathon right now. I will still race the Rock N Roll New Orleans HALF marathon, but not the full as originally planned.
I know it must feel like some rash decision, but I assure you it’s not. I have strongly considered this for a few weeks now. Like I said, even from the beginning, I went in with this possibility very likely in my mind. I noticed that any time I got to a certain mileage on long runs (over 12 miles), the aches I would experience increased significantly – going from general training fatigue and soreness to pain and warning signs of injury.
Two weeks ago, the ankle pain plagued me. We chalked it up to the shoes and I visited the sports chiropractor. Last week, I felt fine…but could still feel that my ankle wasn’t 100% better. I didn’t have pain, though, so I assumed the best. This week? So far I have felt pain on both of my runs – 4 miles on the treadmill on Tuesday and 10 miles yesterday. In fact, I had a pretty hobble going the last three miles of my run yesterday.
I immediately emailed Heather (online running coach) the following yesterday:
I really fear for this. I do not, and probably cannot mentally, face more frustration from running and fighting injury. When I read peoples’ race recaps or think about having to say "soooo…not really doing another marathon" those are the times I want to stick it out most. But then when I think about deep down how I feel in my gut, I feel halves are best for me for the foreseeable future. I almost feel like dropping back would make me truly happier and find more joy in running again…but I fear that. Maybe because I don’t want to regret the decision or because I fear letting people down? I don’t know.
When she replied back that she agreed it would be best to keep my ankle pain from continuing to worsen, I cried. Not because I couldn’t do the full. I cried tears of relief. I guess it somehow confirmed what I felt in my heart – that this is the best decision and that it is okay.
This year has been rough for many reasons – things too personal that I haven’t discussed on the blog, a variety of stressors with our home, and most recently the very painful loss of Roxy. Running doesn’t compare to those things. Quite simply, I need running as a release and a joy to counteract those TRUE losses and hurts and concerns – not an additional cause of stress and frustration. I spent much of this past year in that state and I can’t go back. I refuse to go back. Although I do feel slightly bummed, I’m really okay with the decision.
I have learned a lot of perspective on the things that truly matter this year. I feel as though this year has been the year of “let Go and let God”. I still have much growing to do in many, many ways. This “loss” is nothing. In fact, it’s a gain – of more respect for what my body needs right now, of more time to balance my busy life, and of more perspective on just how much God blesses me each and every day. I choose to let go of control and what I planned to do, in order to remain #blessedtorun.
But, more importantly, simply blessed.
Your Turn: Do you feel like this year has been teaching you a certain something over and over?