When I sat down toward the end of last year to plan out my running goals for this year, I tried to keep them pretty simple: PR my 5K, 10K, 10 mile and half marathon times. Well, simple in theory, much harder in practice. Up until a month ago, I had not only achieved new PR’s in 3 of my 4 times, but I’d also been a part of some truly amazing running experiences. 2013 was shaping up to be my best year of running ever. I’ve never felt stronger, happier or more addicted to pounding the pavement as I have been this year.
Until I got injured.
I’ve been documenting my struggles through my injury (popliteus tendonitis for those wanting the funny words) and how this past month being a virtual stand-still in the training department. I’ve talked about the stages of mourning I’ve been going through, the pain of resting and recovering and the disappointment with not being able to compete in events I’ve signed up for (I missed the mud run I was so excited, and quite terrified to do last month).
One of my biggest disappointments will be not competing in this weekends 10 miler I had signed up for this year. It’s a great race and I love the course immensely. I’m cleared to run and build my mileage back up and so far, things have been going well but I’m not pain free and after a month off, I’m no where near ready to tackle that distance. I don’t want to risk flaring the injury and I really don’t want to to have a horrible race that I’m neither physically, nor mentally prepared to run. This past Monday, I finally made the decision to sell my race bib and not run the race. It was heartbreaking for me because this is the only 10-miler the entire year and my only “official” chance to PR and meet my running goals as well as my What’s Beautiful goals that I set a few months back. Having to wait an entire year for my next chance was a tough pill to swallow but I know it’s the best decision for me, especially given that I still have a 10k at the end of the month and half marathon next month.
There is a silver lining: When I posted my bib in one of the running groups I’m a part of, one of the runners asked if I’d be willing to trade my 10 miler for her 10k (the event has 10 mile, 10k and 5k distances). I thought about it for a day and after yesterday’s successful 4 mile run (following a tough but successful 6 mile run on the weekend), I’m going to make the switch and run the 10k. I feel like a weight has lifted. I will still be able to take part in this awesome race but at a distance that my body is prepared to handle. It’s not my ideal but I’m ok with it. I will be running as Debbie, not Stephanie but there was a time in a previous job I had as a physiotherapy assistant where a patient thought my name was Debbie and called me that for months so clearly, this is meant to be. As long as the knee holds out, I will be running my first official 10k in about 4, maybe 5 years. And if it totally sucks…I get a do-over in a couple of weeks
Stay tuned friends, I hope to have a good race recap for you next week! Fingers crossed!