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:
- The starting line was a 10 minute bus ride from my house
- I paid some good money for it.
- It was a half marathon in January! I remember when half marathons were only held from March to October.
- I run the F^3 Lakefront Trail course all of the time (i.e. it is on my "home course")
- 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).
- 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?!