As I wrote last week, I have been agonizing for WEEKS over whether or not to run the Big Sur marathon, which is now less than 2 weeks away. I have been working towards this goal for 14 weeks (and more, mentally!) and I can’t believe the race is almost here and that I really have to make a decision about what to do.
Like all tough decisions, I have weighed the pros and cons and mostly came to a decision while running, naturally.
Running the Race – Pros & Cons
- Run a bucket list race
- Have an awesome race and travel experience
- Accomplish the goal I set more than 14 weeks ago
- Get an awesome race medal & other swag!
- Risk of worse and/or long-term injury, which could mean no running for weeks or months after the race
- Spend even more money (I have already spent a large amount of money training and more so recovering/rehabbing from my foot injury). Regardless of the injury, this is not a cheap race to run
Not Running the Race – Pros & Cons
- Relax and relieve stress from mentally and physically agonizing over whether or not to run
- Make a full recovery and be able to run pain free
- Continue to run and enjoy other activities
- Save money on flight, hotel, car rental, food, etc.
- Possibly go home to see family with my days off work
- Be 100% for my big summer vacation coming up (more details soon!)
- Feel like a failure
- Miss out on an awesome race and travel experience
If this were a simple math equation, I think it is clear which decision is the right one to make. While there are only two cons to running the race, the risk of injury and not being able to run for even more time is a rather heavy risk, in my opinion.
I appreciate all the comments on last week’s post when I asked for help trying to make this decision. Ultimately, I have to do what is right for me.
I think having an injury is kind of like going through a breakup. At first everyone is sympathetic and supportive but they are not really going through the pain with you so they do not fully understand how much of a toll it takes. Being unable to run freely and pain-free the last 5 weeks has been frustrating. Not being able to run has much more than a physical impact. It has affected me mentally and emotionally, maybe more so than physically.
If only I had a little more time to test out my foot and see how it feels, to get in a few more hard workouts and make sure my aerobic capacity is adequate and my strength is good. Now that I am out of the walking boot, I feel I need a few weeks of really good training in order to feel ready, physically and mentally, for a full marathon. But in terms of training, I am supposed to be tapering and letting my body rest and recover before the big day.
Even as I write this, I am still having a hard time making this decision even though I know what is probably best for me to do. If it were a half marathon or less, I would probably go for it but a full marathon is not something to be taken lightly. Not feeling 100% confident in my ability to complete the race is not a good way to go into a marathon.
So I have decided not to run the Big Sur marathon. While I know it is a bucket list race and would be an amazing experience, the risk of not being able to run (or even walk!) afterwards for weeks or longer, is just too big of a risk for me right now. The weather is warming up and I want to get outside and run! I would much rather be able to run shorter distances a few times a week than run the marathon and then not be able to run at all.
Have you ever not run a race due to injury or other circumstances?
Any guesses as to where my big summer vacation is? I will be gone for 3 weeks and it is outside the USA.