In case you missed it in my Manic Monday post, I ended up not running the Spring Fling 10k on Saturday. I’ve been fighting a cold and wasn’t sure I would make it to the starting line. Despite my best intentions, I was so congested on Friday night into Saturday that I was unable to get enough sleep, and made a last-minute decision to skip the race. As I lay in my bed debating the pros and cons of getting up and racing, the strongest argument for going to the race was that I’d have to admit publicly here on the blog that I chose a DNS when I wasn’t injured or deathly ill. I was worried about disappointing people, or letting people down, or embarrassing myself by choosing sleep over a race.
I was on the verge of dragging myself out into the cold and snow when I came to the realization that I shouldn’t be running for anyone but me. Running a race when I’m sick just because I’m worried about what the blogosphere will think is a dumb reason to run a race. Ultimately, I should be running because I want to. Because it’s important to me. Not because I need to approval of the internet. That’s not to say that I don’t value the opinions of my friends and readers, but really, I need to make decisions based on my own priorities, and not on the expectations other people may or may not have for me.
Yes, I was disappointed that I paid $20 for a race that I didn’t run. But I was sick and tired. And ultimately, this race was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I didn’t miss out on a t-shirt or a medal or an exciting post-race party. I ended up staying in bed until after 10 am, having a leisurely breakfast, and then watching movies and knitting in my pajamas all day. I felt refreshed and relaxed. I had no pangs of guilt or regret about skipping the race.
Now, after a few tough rehearsals this weekend, I’ve had to make another very difficult decision. We’ve reached a point in rehearsals where we are practicing the jump rope number every night, multiple times a night. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been experiencing increasing discomfort and pain in my shins, and I’ve finally come to the decision that if I’m going to stay uninjured throughout the rest of rehearsals, I need to stop running, completely, until the show is over.
I’ve been wearing compression socks or sleeves during and after every jump rope rehearsal and most runs, but I can no longer pretend that I’m OK. At best, I’ve got severe shin splints in both legs. At worst, I’m approaching a stress response/potential stress fracture in my left shin. My ankles hurt. My calves are sore. Trying to keep up with running in addition to the increased jump rope rehearsals is destroying my legs.
While I’m obviously upset about having to make this choice, I know that in the long run it will be in my best interest. I made a commitment to this show and I need to follow through on it. If that means no running in order to stay healthy, so be it. I will attempt to keep up my fitness as much as possible by going for walks on my lunch breaks and continuing to attend CXWORX class when possible, but I need to honor the fact that my body is exhausted. I need to preserve my strength and energy for the rehearsals and shows that I have committed to, so that when the show is over, I will be physically able to go back to running.
At least this is a choice I have the luxury of making. I am choosing not to run. I am choosing to protect my body by backing off on stressful activities, unlike others who are too injured or ill and have no choice but not running (I’m looking at you, Kim!). I will continue to wear compression during and after jump rope rehearsals, and start icing my shins as well, in the hopes that things don’t get worse.
Bloggers, do you sometimes worry about the reactions of your readers?
When is the last time you had to make a tough decision in order to effect a positive outcome?