First, thank you for the encouraging words leading up to and after my race. You made a girl feel loved. Second, I need to clarify my Duathlon Championhips recap because some thought I was sending a bad message and glorifying racing with an injury.
The intent of my story was not to encourage you to ignore an injury. (I took my therapists advice and didn’t run for 3 months!) My intent was to encourage you to do your best with what you’ve got. To take all the untimely things that happen and learn to deal with them. I chose to race because leading up to it, I was pain-free. My achilles hadn’t bothered me because I hadn’t run. I wanted to see if I could swing it. But I also wanted to avoid making things worse.
On race week, I sent this email to friends who were planning to watch me compete: “In case you haven’t been updated, I haven’t ran in 3 months. I’ve been biking well but running – not so well. I am going to race this weekend but I don’t know if I will be able to finish. Given that uncertainty, I’m asking you to skip this race. I can’t have you drive to Cambridge knowing I that might have to walk..”
I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. If my achilles flared during the run, I would walk. If walking caused pain, I would stop. That was the plan. I gave myself permission to end the race if things got ugly. I accepted this as a possibility and was at peace. On the flip side, I could have opted out of the race altogether. That would have been understandable and acceptable.
I do not condone reckless behavior. I started the race slow and kept it slow so that I would be safe. Not once did I try to run or bike at my usual pace! I apologize to those who missed the point of my message. I was not telling you to suck it up when you have an injury. I was telling you to suck it up when you have complacency, doubt, or fear.
In other news, my achilles is feeling okay. Now, for my quads and glutes, that’s another story. You’d think I’d just competed in 58 mile race.