Deciding When Not to Show Up

I’ve mentioned in a past training log that I was reconsidering running a race I’d signed up for in the past. The race, a women’s only 10km, was something that I was very excited for when I signed up. The women’s only part really interested me, as well as a chocolate station mid-race, and a pretty flat course. When I signed up I had planned on it being my first 10km race ever, and likely the only one in the May-June season. A few months after signing up, the Lululemon Waterfront 10km finally released a date for their race, and after hearing tons of great things about this race, I knew that I would have to run it, too. And the Lululemon race is on my birthday (June 16th) which was an even bigger incentive. I planned on running both, but then life got in the way.

When I decided on the women’s run it was midday on a weekday. I looked at the bus schedules and timing to get to the race, and it was only about an hour, which is nothing unusual to me. Silly me didn’t realize that the bus schedule would be totally different at 6am on a Sunday, and I recently realized that it would be impossible for me to get there via transit and that I would have to hand over $60 for an Uber to the starting line, which is even more than the entry fee to the race. As a university student working multiple jobs just to afford rent/school/etc, the loss of the race entry fee seemed easier to accept than spending so much on a drive.

Despite the overwhelming cost of travel, I still thought I could run this race. I planned my training schedule out and had my plan hit a high a week out from the first 10km, doing a taper week, then race, then a lighter week to recover, and then another hard week, and then another taper. It was a little ridiculous with all the variability in mileage, but I’ve never done multiple races back-to-back so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did know that I wanted to be more competitive in the Lululemon race, as it’s a much larger race overall, I’m running it with a friend, and it’s on my birthday, so I’d have to crush it. This meant that the women’s race would be more of a stepping stone to test out how I feel during a 10km race (I’ve run the distance before, just never competitively).

The back and forth questioning of whether or not I should actually run this race was starting to stress me out. I’d decide on running it, and then change my mind, and then do it all over again. I re-considered my training plan and started focusing on the Lululemon race as the only goal, with the women’s race just being another long run. Unfortunately, about a week ago, I had my first running injury this year. A really severe pain in my ankles kept me off my feet for 6 days. This meant missing my last long run (planned a 6.5 mile run) before my race and missing key workouts as well.  (I had been working on a training log for last week and after missing the long run I decided not to bother posting it). Today I set out with a decision in mind: If I could run the 6.5 miles without major issue, then I would do the race. If the pain persisted and I physically couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t run the race and would take a few more easy days on the ankle, and then resume training for June 16th.

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As you can see, I did not make it. I barely made it to 2 miles before I started feeling the pain, and decided that I would finish a mediocre 5km, but not push for anything further. And because I don’t want to risk a more serious injury, I’ll likely stay off of my feet for at least another few days.

I know that I am going to feel disappointed with myself when Sunday rolls around and I am not out there achieving what I had intended to. It’s tough having to accept that in a sport like this, there are so many variables that come in to play, and sometimes you can’t just push through things.  Maybe if it were just the Uber cost, or just the ankle pain, or just the horrible weather forecast, I would say “fuck it” and run the race, but sometimes things all come together and tell you not to do something, and maybe that’s for the best.

Perhaps on Sunday I will run a 10km on my own and have a race with myself. Or maybe my ankle will put me out of service for even longer.

I guess we’ll see. And I guess sometimes that’s the best you can hope for.

Until next time.

Meghan

One thought on “Deciding When Not to Show Up

  1. It’s no fun being sensible! Have you managed to work out what the issue was? A bit of rest won’t do your fitness any significant harm before The Big Day on June 16th. Keep the sensible hat on and you’ll be okay. Good luck!

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