Sometimes it's just not your day to run. You can prepare all you want for a race, but sometimes it's just not in the cards.
My hamstring has been hit or miss the last 2 weeks. I did bail out on my scheduled run on Tuesday because it was feeling a bit wonky right away and I thought with the race coming up, I should be conservative and take things nice and easy. Monday was a gym treadmill run, Thursday I did another short treadmill run, and Saturday I did a slow 1 mile, just-loosen things up run. I was fully expecting to be able to complete the 15K today.
So you are thinking that my hamstring must have acted up today, right?
No, friends, that is not what happened this morning. About 2 miles in, I felt a white, hot pain under my entire left knee cap. This was a new pain, in a new spot. It was the kind of hot seering pain that I have learned it not the kind of pain one should run through, because that usually is followed by not being able to walk, or run for weeks following. I got over to the side of the road and tried to stretch through it. Started running again, and it came back. Tried walking for a few minutes, and each time I tried to run there it was. I thought about the next 7 miles and trying to complete the race because I am not a quitter. I hate quitting. I think that is what I feel the worst about... but at the end of the day I had to think about why I run. For fun, for fitness, and for stress relief. If I push through something that is an injury in the making, and am side-lined for weeks or months I am going to be much more upset than if I do the walk of shame back to the waterfront. I needed to look at the big picture and ignore that voice that was making me feel bad for listening to my body.
Sometimes we can plan and train and set our goals - but it just isn't our day to run. Today was that day for me. It is disappointing and frustrating, but there will be other races. There will be Shamrock 2013 (I WILL get one of those bottle opener medals!).
I was a little feeling down and bummed for myself, but then I got home and attacked by two sweet girls, and R asked if I won and I told her I didn't finish because my knee hurt and she just gave me a big hug. I am blessed in so many ways, I am not going to focus on the negative. The Race days are fun - but it's not why I run. I run for the workouts during the week that help keep me in shape and restore my sanity. I run so that I can set a good example for my lovely girls about fitness and making yourself a priority. So today, I am thankful for a body that I know can run 9.3 miles and I know can run that route. It just didn't want to today.
And that's okay.
*** Here's hoping a few days off will heal whatever went wonky today and I can jump back in to my training. So my focus this week will have to be strength training and some cross-training.