Sunday, January 27, 2013

No F^3 for Me

I had registered for, but did not run the F^3 Lake Half Marathon yesterday due to my ankle injury. Looking back on it, I probably could have gone 13.1 miles without causing major injury to my ankle, but I feel I made the correct decision not running. I think a gradual build-up after an injury is the safest and best bet.

Anyway, I learned something during this whole ordeal. I now realize what head games a "looming" race can have on me. I think that I put added pressure on myself to run this race because:

  1. The starting line was a 10 minute bus ride from my house
  2. I paid some good money for it.
  3. It was a half marathon in January! I remember when half marathons were only held from March to October.
  4. I run the F^3 Lakefront Trail course all of the time (i.e. it is on my "home course")
  5. I am in marathon training, and it would be fun to see how the McMillan Calculator would compute a full marathon time off of my half marathon finish time (i.e. I could get a good look at my fitness).
  6. There were lots o' bloggers running this one

So, as the race loomed last week I was constantly checking my ankle for signs of improvement, trying to imagine how it would hold up for 13.1 miles. Meanwhile, I fretted that my fitness level was dropping and my weight was increasing as I was not burning very many calories as I had committed myself to total rest. I think I wasted several hours of stress last week, going back and forth in my head on whether I should or shouldn't race.

I picked up my race bib and t-shirt on Friday. I was giving the guy handing out bibs my excuses for not running the F^3. When I was finally out of excuses he looked at me in the eye and said firmly, "I'll see you there in the morning..." But, little did he know that I really wasn't going to make it.

I made my final decision on Friday night:  It's just a race, no need to stress, no need to invite further injury. So, live to race another day! I was not racing the next morning.

So, at about noon on Saturday, after the time in the day that I would have crossed the finish line had I raced, the sense of "loom" finally lifted itself from my shoulders. I instantly felt better. There was no more stress and I was able to enjoy the rest of my weekend without fifty thoughts about the race bouncing around my head. Yes, I was disappointed that I couldn't run, but I had no more looming decision to make! Yay!

This weekend, I did some yoga, swam and actually ran 2.25 miles with an ankle brace, all without incident. So, I hope to be back to top form in a few weeks.

So, congrats to all of the F^3 finishers out there. Maybe I'll be running my next race in March at the Get Lucky Half.

By the way, I wasn't alone in not racing the F^3 noticed that over 25% of the runners who signed up did not show up:

1,850 people registered for the F^3, but only 1,375 started.  That means 475 people were no-shows including myself!  Wonder if this is typical for any race or if a lot of people were hoping for 30 or 40 degree temperatures and got teens instead?!

28 comments:

  1. I think it's pretty hard to pass up a race you already paid for/had in mind, but I deeefinitely think you made the right decision here!

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    1. Thanks. I had to do what's best for the long term, rather than what I wanted to do at the moment. Sometimes, I surprise myself when I actually make well-thought-out decisions! :-)

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  2. I think winter races must have a higher # of DNS'
    hopefully your ankle is 100% ASAP so you can resume your training while feeling good!
    and on the bright side resting now will put you in a great place to be able to crush your summer races!
    xoxo!

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    1. Yes, I hope that resting will make me stronger!

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  3. Better to rest and build back up than to risk injury or making it worse! I was noticing the results seemed to reflect a lot of no shows. Interesting.

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    1. That's my plan, I just have to stick to it and not try to do too much at once.

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  4. Definitely good choice to skip the race. Why take the risk of further injury if this isn't your end-goal? It stinks to lose the money, but it would've been worse to blow your ankle. Hope you continue to feel better and resume training soon!

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  5. I very much relate to the head games that go into these races. Heck, I've been fighting myself back and forth for months on how ambitious to be on signing up for some big/expensive races, LOL. But in the end I am very happy to hear that you took it safe and that you were comfortable with your decision. And now, let the healing resume as quickly as possible!

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  6. Always a bummer to have to skip a race, but sounds like it was for the best in the long run. Plenty more races ahead!

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    1. Yes, it's just one race. Hopefully, there will be many more years of racing before I hang up my shoes...

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  7. I know a lot of people who were injured and unable to run the F^3 last weekend. I debated taking a bib but ultimately didn't want to push myself to race so soon after the Goofy Challenge. My guess is a lot of people signed up hoping to be in shape/uninjured in January and it just didn't work out for them.

    Good news about running and swimming over the weekend though! I hope you continue to heal quickly!

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    1. Yes. You're probably right. It's all of us injured spring marathoners that were no shows for the F^3! :-)

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  8. I am happy to hear that you got to a point where you could release the stress and enjoy your weekend. And happy to hear your ankle is a bit better :)

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  9. It's a bummer, but definitely the right call. There is always next year!

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    1. Yup. I plan on being there next year!

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  10. Sorry you didn't get to run but you definitely did the right thing! Don't want to take chances, especially when marathon training!!

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    1. Thanks. Yes marathon training is the #1 priority.

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  11. Bummer you didn't race but I think you made a wise decision. You would have really regretted it if something happened that would've compromised Boston. I'm shocked how big that race was!

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    1. Yeah. It's incredible that a January Half would get so many people!

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  12. It's hard to not race when you paid for it, but if you get the shirt & other goodies without the risk of injury sometimes that is all you need!! Way to listen to your body.

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  13. Seems like you made the best decision. Could you have run well? Absolutely, but at what cost to your long term running? I wish I could have made the decision to pull the plug on a couple of races in the past few years, but instead prolonged the healing process by being stubborn. I'm also thinking of running the Get Lucky half since is super close to my place... Hope that ankle of yours is 100% in no time.

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    1. Yeah, I guess I am actually learning restraint as I grow older! Will miracles never cease? :-) Cool that you may do the Get Lucky. I am 80% sure I will run it too.

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  14. Made the right choice there Pete. Glad you are letting your injury heal up completely before getting back out for the races. There are truly always more races. Great post.

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    1. Thanks. The ankle is feeling a lot better now and I am taking a more gradual approach to running, which I think was the best decision.

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