Two weekends ago, iWill and I decided to preview the course for the half-marathon we’re running on the 19th. It’s in Sammamish and we knew it would involve some trails. I had 10 miles scheduled for my long run that day and he had 11 miles, so it was kind of perfect.
Trail running is super fun. I’ve talked about it before, how much I love it. After the first Rainier run, iWill and I decided to head back up the mountain. This time we’d camp out, enjoy the trails, and get some good running in. I was able to run almost four miles before the elevation gain shut me down. Still, I turned the 4 mile run into a 10 mile hike and had a wonderful time. But the next day, my hamstring started to feel sore. I told you guys this also. Rest. Recovery. Etc. I was going to take it easy.
And I did. I took it way easy for another week and then had a couple semi-okay three mile runs. I thought I was ready for the 10 mile course preview.
My hamstring had other plans. The more I ran on the course, which was 100% trail, the louder my hamstring barked at me. By the time I stopped running (5 miles in) I was limping. I went back to the car to wait for iWill to finish his run. I called Erin and immediately started to cry. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the half-marathon the way I’d planned. There was no way I could do 13 miles of that course without walking. I felt awful, disappointed in myself, like a quitter. Erin was wonderful, as always, and told me there was no shame in walking parts of the course. When iWill came back to the car, I was in a much better disposition but, as I started to tell him about my run, tears slipped out from underneath my sunglasses. He was wonderful also, reassuring me that I’d be able to finish the half-marathon, and who cared if I took a walk break or 10? There was a point in my life, not so long ago, when even a 5 mile run seemed out of reach. I just needed a few more rest days and a couple easy runs before the half; things would be fine.
Not so much.
I tried an easy jog a couple days ago and am very sad to report the hamstring was still cranky. I tried to think of a thousand ways I could still do the race while not hurting myself for my future goals. Turns out there are zero ways to do that. So I made the choice; I’m calling the race.
I am very and extremely bummed about having to drop out. But ultimately, I have bigger goals than this race. These goals require me to be healthy, with two strong legs. This race is just the first of many longer distance races I have planned over the next year. So it isn’t the end of the world, really. And I still get to go to the race to cheer iWill on AND because he’s all vegan and stuff, he said I can eat his chocolate finisher’s medal.
So that’s the new plan. Rest, some easy Pilates, lots of stretching. So many good things are happening in my life right now that really, when you think about it, having to miss one race is such a small unfortunate thing. I’ll run again. For now, I get to focus on my new job, and preparing for Burningman, and all the other loveful things happening in my life right now. There are a thousand things to be thankful for, y’all. Even the disappointment of missing the race is good because it just makes it clear that running isn’t a passing fad for me. It isn’t my new phase. It’s slowly and more steadily becoming a part of me, taking root in my identity and making me believe in myself more than I ever have before.
That’s pretty damn sweet, if you ask me.