The thought process that goes into whether or not you should miss (or Do Not Start) a race is an intense one. You know the answer. You know what you should do. You know what you would tell a friend if they were in the same situation, but that doesn’t apply to us. No way. You ask your friends close to you. Then you ask the internet. Then you look to ask anyone that might tell you the answer you want to hear. But you have known the answer all along.
Let’s back track a bit.
In February, I decided to run the San Francisco Ultra Marathon (you run the course from finish to start, then start to finish for a total of 52.4 miles). I ran it in 2014 and was excited to make a go at it again. My training was going well into May. I had done a 50k, had knocked out few 20 mile runs and was getting in the longer distances. In hindsight, I was missing out on the shorter distances in between the long, slow runs.
When I ran RnRSD in early June, something didn’t feel right (read the Carlee’s post for more details). I just chalked it up to having a bad run—maybe I was too tired from the 50k and just hadn’t recovered properly. After that my achilles started to bother me on any runs longer than 5 miles (ruh roh). I decided to give it a couple of weeks rest, roll a lot, and try to pick myself back up. The weekend before the 4th of July, I went on a 5 mile run and the Achilles didn’t bother me. Yay. Then the morning of the 4th of July I was putting a backpack in the car, bent over, and my back just gave out. This had never happened before so I didn’t really know what to make of it. But I knew I was in trouble. It thought maybe I could walk it off as I was supposed to run a 4th of July 5k in an hour. Not happening. I spent the rest of that day hardly able to move, and the next couple days hunched over unable to stand up straight.
note: this is in no way intended to relate the missing of a race to the experience of death in any way. Just drawing a similarity to the Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief.
deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.
synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair
I can still run it. I’ve done it before. I know the course. I’ll be fine. That Achilles problem? That was so last month. My back? I mean, it feels tight and I can’t really lift anything heavy, but I should be able to run.
Gah. I was doing everything right. I ran a 50k in May, then I ran Marathon two weeks later. So what I wasn’t doing my shorter maintenance runs. Those are optional when you are crushing 20 milers every week. This isn’t fair. I told the internet I was going to run it. It’s my local race. I’m supposed to be there. I have to be there.
Ok. The first marathon starts at midnight. The second marathon starts at 6am. I can take the full 6 hours to do the first marathon, lots of walk breaks, then run the marathon with everyone else. I’ll take my time, maybe do some live tweets and videos and it’ll be fine. Training? Well, I ran 26.2 in early June, that’s basically enough. I know the course. I can do this. My back is fine, it’s at like 75% which is really close to 100%.
I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m going to stay off the internet and just not talk about running. Here, I’ll send out a tweet about music and post a photo of a donut. If I make it look like everything is normal, then I don’t have to think about how much this sucks. Don’t think about running. Don’t think about this being the 40th anniversary, the commemorative shirts, swag, medals. Who wants the extra medal anyways? Or the extra-extra medal? Ughhhhhhh.
I won’t be running the San Francisco Marathon. I will officially be a DNS: did not start. It’s for the best. I know. I knew it all along and just didn’t want it to happen. I’m not going to lie that I keep jumping back into bargaining thinking it “could” happen. But I know the best thing for me is to listen to my body and the multiple signs it has given me to get back to 100%. To rebuild and work on being a better runner. Doing the daily things that make me stronger and reduce the possibility of injuries that lead to bigger injuries. I know. Even if I don’t like it.
So what now?
Thankfully the puppies and kitties are receiving some help. We surpassed our goal in fundraising for the SF SPCA and we were able to giveaway some great prizes to some of you that donated. I was invited to take a tour and visit at the SF SPCA and think that would be fun to share with you how your donations are being used to help our four-legged friends. Most of all, thank you to everyone that donated, sent out a tweet, and showed some love.
I’ll be at the San Francisco Marathon expo helping out at the PRO Compression booth on Saturday from 10-3. PRO released a special edition sock and it will be available at the expo. A bunch of the PRO Ambassadors and enthusiasts will be wearing it (and you should too!). Not running, but want to buy it now, use code PRO17 for 40% off.
Join us at the PRO Compression booth at the expo on Saturday at 2pm. Everyone is welcome. I’ll be hosting it along with the PRO Ambassadors (and I might have some free giveaway swag for runners) and we’ll take a massive group photo.
When: Saturday at 2pm
Where: Expo, PRO Compression Booth
Who: Hosted by me and the PRO Ambassadors
RACE DAY CHEER STATION:
I’ll be out on the course, #werunsocial flags flying, and hopefully some music playing. I’m aiming to be out near mile 5, likely after Sports Basement before you begin your climb up Lincoln Blvd. to the Golden Gate Bridge. Give me a wave. A high-five. Stop for a selfie. Ignore me. I’ll take all of it. I’ll be cheering all of you on and celebrating your accomplishments.
Hope to see all of you at some point this weekend. I’ll be living vicariously through all of you and can’t wait to be back out there with you in 2018, for the 41st edition of the race.
Run Strong. Finish Stronger.