Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why Did I Originally Sign Up?

Immediately after my 2013 ING Miami Marathon racing nightmare in January, I signed up for the 2013 Fox Valley Marathon which was going to take place on September 22nd.  I wanted to redeem myself since I finished (5 hrs and 17 mins) in a time that was no where close to my 4 hour goal or my marathon PR (4 hrs and 11 mins).  Plus if I registered before the end of January, I would get a discount (yippee!).  I would then have almost 8 months to prepare for the marathon to reach my sub 4 hour marathon goal and it would leave me plenty of time to come up with my training plan.

Training

Because I was determined to meet my goal, my workouts were going good and I was getting faster.  In April, I set a new 5K PR (24:20) at The Race That's Good For Life.  However, over the next couple of months, I dealt with a foot injury.  It finally went away in early June, just in time to start my training for my third marathon.

Over the summer months, the training did not go great.  The heat and humidity were mentally bothering me and my legs felt heavy on most long runs.  I still went ahead and completed a 8 hour run at the end of July.  On that date, I ran over a 50K distance and was happy about it, but it resulted in a injury (tight psoas area).

The Injury

This nagging psoas injury never would go away and would not loosen up.  I tried to run through it for a week and a half, but it stuck around and held me back so I shut down running.  I was really hoping it would be healed within 2 weeks and I could jump back into the marathon training schedule but the weeks went by and still no running.  I would test it out once in a while, but the dull pain would appear once I started running.

I tried a regular massage in the middle of August, but it didn't fully relieve the pain.  I did a sports massage on September 11th.  It hurt and I was sore, but 1 day after I finally felt a possible opening that this injury might be going away.

Decision Time

I did not run a complete mile PAIN FREE until September 18th, only 4 days from marathon day.  The entire marathon week I felt good and the temptation was there to get to the starting line.  As stated, I ran a WHOLE mile pain free on Wednesday.  On Friday, it was time to pick up the bib and marathon goody bag.  I decided to make the drive to pick up the items, in case I would end up running.  After picking up the package, I still had not made a decision.

The Decision

Later that evening I had finally decided that I would not run even though I felt I could finish the race via running and walking.

Was the decision easy?  Obviously not.  I had been thinking about making this choice for weeks.  Once I commit myself to a race, I typically will do what it takes to run it.  However, as I become an experienced marathon runner, sometimes it is better to be smart than stubborn.

Why did I decide to not run?  To avoid anymore running layoffs, prevent possible injury and because I had not fully trained for the marathon.

I truly believe a marathon medal is a reward not only for finishing a race, but also for the preparation and training for the 26.2 mile run.  If I would have completed the marathon, I would not of been happy with the medal and I probably would have just of hid it in a drawer because I had not put in the training time like others had.

Therefore, if I was not going to be happy with the medal and how I finished, what would have been the point of racing that day?

After Thoughts


Do I regret my decision?  No.

I have new goals and I will share them in the future.  This is why I did not want anymore injuries or rest time to delay my come back.

As a runner, sometimes it is better to just make a decision based on the future than just wanting to "finish" a race so you can be part of the "marathon finishing crowd". 

When you make a decision like this, only you can be happy with it or regret it.  Some people will think you were right and others will say you were weak for taking the easy way out.

Yes, I wasted 100+ dollars and for me personally my ego was hurt a bit, but I am fine with that.  Ten years ago I would gone through with the race, but I have learned a lot over the years.  One of those is that being stubborn gets you nowhere.

One of the priorities I lost after my transformation and new life is being healthy.  This was the point of why I wanted to lose weight and change my life.  Being injured a majority of the time is not healthy.  So now I have to find ways to challenge and keep energizing myself while staying healthy and happy with the way I look and feel.

In summary, I am disappointed that I let a 50K "fun run" get in the way of my number one goal for the year, but I can not live with regrets, I can only learn from them.

Last thought

Running changed my life.  But running is not my life. I am not only a runner, I am a husband, father, employee, etc.  Therefore, I have decided  I can no longer let my running goals control my life, I need to relax, stay healthy and be proud of who I am now and want to become.  Will that include some type of future running races in the future?  Absolutely.  Will I train hard to do the best I possibly can for each of my runs?  Of course.  However, I am going to be more careful and only do a couple of races per year at most. 

I want to thank the Google+ friends that I interact with on a daily basis in helping to support this difficult decision.
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By: Fred Lechuga

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