Saturday, February 21, 2009

Down, But Not Out

Since my event is only a month away, I went and talked to my Coach yesterday morning about my options. He got a good laugh at the ridiculously bulky ankle brace I've been wearing. He thought maybe adding Nike swooshes to the sides would up it's cool factor -- I think it would have been neat to at least have a few color options. I just wish it fit into my shoes like the box said it would!

Anyway, we sat and talked for awhile about where to go from here. Coach is extremely doubtful that it'll be strong enough for the full marathon. I was afraid of that, but hearing those words was like a punch to the gut. I've worked soo hard over the last four months, but all I kept thinking was that if I had just worked a little bit harder or cross-trained like I was supposed to I wouldn't be in this situation at all. While everyone's gearing up for a practice run at Cowtown next weekend, I'll be sitting at home once again wishing that my cankles were up to the challenge.

But Coach is right -- assuming my ankle continues to heal, I'll be able to run the 1/2 stronger, with less risk of re-injuring or even making it worse. There's just not enough time to pick up with training for the full. Unless I switch to the summer TEAM, which is another option.

And it's an option I go back and forth about. Sure, I could switch TEAMs so I can race the full. But then I don't get to cross the finish line and celebrate with the TEAM I've been sweating with for the last four months. The TEAM that I've grown with, and have turned into a runner with.

Before I started training, I was a couch potato with the occasional urge to do something aerobic. I wasn't overweight or completely out of shape, but I had no real desire to get up early or to do anything too competitive or athletic. Especially if it was freezing cold outside. To my first run I think I wore sweat pants, an old worn pair of Nikes, two cotton t-shirts and a hoodie. No breathable fabrics, no gloves, no watch, no breakfast, no water. Running just one mile made my heart want to leap from my chest and my legs turn to butter.

But now? I enjoy going for runs. I have cool new sneaks and running gear. I would never wear straight cotton, especially on long runs, or leave the house on chilly mornings without my gloves. I eat better, drink tons of water, and just feel better after going for a jog. I get ancy just thinking about it. For me, it's still not about how fast I'm going -- I enjoy soaking up nature and listening to some tunes.

But I know I've gotten a lot faster. And Coach has noticed the improvements too -- how I've learned to push myself just a little more each time, how I now run with my shoulders back and my eyes looking ahead (rather than hunched over and staring at my feet like before).

Yesterday, it was hard for me to think about making the switch to the half -- I'm an "all or nothing" type of person. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it's the best way to go and still finish with my TEAM. It's not about my run or how far I went, it's about the amazing experience I've had with TNT, and the thousands of dollars we've been able to raise to benefit cancer patients and their families.

I still feel a bit like I'm disappointing my donors. But, regardless of whether I cross the finish line after 13.1 miles or 26.2, I will cross it -- and the money will go to help find a cure. And, at the end of the day, isn't that what this is all about?

14 comments:

lindsay said...

i can imagine the disappointment, but it definitely sounds wiser to drop to the half. you'll be able to enjoy the race and run a good time, vs pushing yourself too far in the full and potentially injuring something. i'm pretty sure there will still be marathons to run a few months down the road too, and you can hop back into healthy training then! keep up the positive attitude, i know it's tough sometimes.

That Pink Girl said...

Running a half marathon at Big D is still 13.1 MORE miles than most people will run that Sunday morning. I know it is disapointing, but you have to listen to your body. (so you'll be healthy when you DO make it to your full marathon!) You've come a long way and you should be very, very proud.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Katie, it's still an endurance event and your donors will understand. I think you're making a wise decision. There is always tomorrow.

Adam said...

I LOVE the quote that goes: "Would you rather run now or for the rest of your life?" No sense getting all busted up for one race. Ken is right - everyone will understand and you'll be even more ready for some good fall races!

Besides, nothing sucks more than a DNF because you had to be carted off the course!

Natalie D said...

I am the same all or nothing type person. You are still raising money for a great cause and when you are 100% you can do the full. You are still doing a great job and no one should be disappointed!

Marlene said...

I'm so sorry that things have not worked out as you'd planned. I know the disappointment of training for months to reach a goal and getting sidelined at the WORST time.

Sounds like you are making the smart decision. It's disappointing, but there are many marathons in your future.

Good luck!

Racn4acure said...

Katie - I know this has got to be really disappointing. But I doubt your donors would feel like you let them down. You need to take care of yourself. The half with the team you've trained with will still be fun. And you will have more energy for the victory party.

One of my mentees had a stress fracture and switched to the summer team. But I can tell she feels bad about no longer training with the people she had bonded with. So I think whatever you decide, it will be right for you because you are thinking things over.

You have many races ahead of you! Art

Marshall said...

Being injured is so tough! I know what you are going through. But you have to put in perspective and realize that it's a relatively short period of time, and it's an investment in your future running career. Like someone else said above, don't do something now that could have permanent and long-term consequences. You aren't quitting, you aren't giving up; you're dealing with the situation the best way you can. And it's not because you aren't tough - you just caught a bad break. So the most important thing is to heal up and make sure you are ready for what lies ahead. You're still awesome for doing what you're doing! Keep it up and don't get discouraged!

Katie said...

Ditto to all of the above great comments Katie! I think you came to a wise decision, even though it's tough right now. And you're right - the most important part is the inspiration for the start of your running - fundraising for LLS!! Way to go, and best of luck on healing!

Ted said...

I know it is not easy to deal when you have setbacks. Many runners hate it! I think you have made an excellent decision. It is imperative that you focus on the healing part.

By the way, how's the book (50/50) coming along?

Dano said...

Katie,
It doesn't really matter if you run a half, a full, ride a hundred miles, or race a triathlon - the money you raise is supporting people who need information, support, and research. Go on out there and do whatever event you can and let them thank you on the course and cheer you across the finish line.
I don't doubt that you'll feel great about finishing a half; then afterward, you'll have time to recover, then come back hungry for the full marathon; your chance to join the next TEAM and maybe even mentor! (My own first TNT event ended up a half-marathon due to a knee injury, and it was great, and so was the marathon I finished a year later!)
Keep up the great work. Go Team!

Mohan Dutt said...

You are a great inspiration!
Reading your blog I can see the beautiful person outside as well as the beautiful within. I have added your blog on my run blog - http://onemilemore.blogspot.com

Sonia said...

Disappointing anyone? I don't think so. You have the right to be bummed out about not being able to make the marathon starting line but you're definitely not a disappointment! You're still going to run a half-marathon! That's a freaking big achievement!!! =)

Better finish smth that won't make you feel worse and then not being able to run for longer times after. That would be a real disappointment!

Katie said...

You guys are all so very awesome -- thanks SO much for the encouragement!! Couldn't make it past the driveway without it!!

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