Saturday, March 31, 2012

The smart decision isn't always easy

The Birch Bay Road Race starts in less than 10 hours and I'm still trying to decide what my plan is for the morning. Not what am I going to wear or what type of fuel to pack? But I'm not sure whether to even run or not!

I'm having an issue with my left foot. I can't pinpoint exactly when it started, but the first moment of pain that I distinctly remember was Monday night when I put my workout shoes on to go the gym. There was a slight pain like something inside my shoe was pushing against a tender part of my foot. The pain went away when I took my shoes off for yoga class.

On Tuesday morning I put on my regular running shoes as a test and everything felt okay so I decided not to call my physical therapist. That was probably my first mistake. The second mistake was going out for a run that night and not calling it quits after my foot started hurting about a mile in. Instead I stuck it out through 2.4 miles in my Brooks Defyance than got a silly notion that maybe a different pair of shoes would help and went back out for another 2.4 miles in my Newtons. I actually ended up with a pretty decent average pace, but afterward it hurt just walking around the house.

On Wednesday I finally called the physical therapist's office but they didn't have any appointments this week, so I went to my primary care physician instead. X-rays showed that it wasn't a stress fracture. The doctor said it was probably an overuse injury and that I just needed to rest and heal. He said that if I felt better I could try to run but not to expect amazing results.

So I took the past few days off from working out and I've been icing my foot twice a day. Now I'm back to the point where I can walk normally again without any pain. I've even tried a short jog around the house with no problem. But I don't know what's going to happen when I put on my running shoes again. And that's what brings me to my dilemma.

I think the smartest decision would be to take more time off and not run tomorrow. I only have one month until the Expedition Everest Challenge and 12 weeks until the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon. Those are my key races that I need to focus on. The Birch Bay Road Race is nearby and I can always try again next year.

But then comes the question of should I still go in the morning to at least pick up my shirt that I've already paid $50 for? Which then got me thinking if I'm going to get up that early, maybe I should go ahead and start the race and then just drop out when my foot starts to hurt again. After all, as the saying goes... DLF>DNF>>DNS (Dead Last Finish > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start). I'm not sure that really applies in my case though since it's more about injury than motivation.

Or I could ask about switching from the 30k option to the 15k option. Maybe I could get through that at a run/walk without too much pain. But it's still probably not worth the possible injury and setback to my marathon training. What about walking the 15k?

There are so many possibilities and I can't decide what to do! Actually I think after typing all this out I know what I should do, but I can't get myself to commit to it as my final decision. I'm trying to tell myself that the registration fee is a sunk cost and to just forget about it, but it's so much easier said than done. I don't even know why I'm so stuck on this race. I guess I feel like by not making an attempt that somehow it's almost like failing. Maybe it's good for me to have the experience of a DNS now so I realize that ultimately missing a race isn't that big a deal. Especially when I have a valid reason and it's not like I didn't put in the training or I just didn't feel like getting up that morning.

Well, whether I run tomorrow or not, it's time for bed. I'll fill you in later on what happens.


  1. I understand how difficult that is...I probably would have gone and went for the 15K (even though that wouldn't be the most logical choice - rest would be!). Hope you are happy with whatever decision you made!

  2. Oh! Tough choice! I think you HAVE to keep the key goal in mind. Good luck.