My body’s telling me no…

I’m calling it. I’m bowing out of the half marathon I’m registered for next weekend, April 15. In my last, post, I told you I had shin splints but was continuing to do my “runs” on the elliptical in hopes I would feel better and be able to race. Today was my drop-dead date. If I couldn’t do my 6-mile long run today, I decided I wasn’t going to attempt to race next Saturday.

My shins felt pretty good when I woke up today so I planned to run to the gym (3 miles), do 15 minutes of rowing and run home. I made it about three blocks before the shooting pains were too much.

Reluctantly, I decided I’m not going to try to race.

I have a lot of feelings about this, and most of them involve disappointment.

I’m disappointed in myself for not being able to finish what I started.

I’m disappointed in my body for failing me and for not being able to handle the training I had planned.

I’m disappointed that I posted a training plan on this blog and I got injured following it.

I’m disappointed that I won’t get a PR this race because I’m not running.

I’m disappointed that I paid for the race and now that money is wasted. (I’ll pick up my t-shirt but I don’t get the pretty medal for finishing.)

But I’m also proud of myself for recognizing my limits. In the past I probably would have raced anyway and injured myself more. I have other goals that are bigger than this race and getting injured won’t help me reach them. I’m registered for the Madison-Chicago Ragnar in the beginning of June. If I rest now and keep up my cardio endurance, I’ll be able to run with my team. I’d rather let myself down and skip this race than let down 11 Ragnar teammates.

I was thinking a lot about mental toughness and how most limitations when it comes to fitness (and life in general, I guess) are in your head. If you have the right mindset and block the self-imposed limitations, you can reach your goals. This is not one of those times. My limitation is physical. Having the right mindset means knowing that pushing through the pain and succeeding in the short term will hold me back from my other goals and impede my long-term success.

What’s next? I’m taking 4 more full weeks off from running and doing my cardio on the elliptical, stair climber or rower. I’m going to look into getting new pair of shoes. I’m going to continue with my lifting program and add some exercises to strengthen my shin muscles and calves.

With that, I bow out of the race.

Stay fit,


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