Decisions, Decisions – To Race or Not

Do you ever get the feeling the Universe is trying to tell you something?

I’m six days away from the Boston’s Run to Remember Half and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it to the starting line.

From the start, this has felt like an odd training cycle — while the tempo runs and track work have been decent, the long runs have been underwhelming. In fact, because of the odd foot pain I was having a couple of the long runs were cut short.Ā  The foot pain has passed, but the new wrench in the works is a nagging cough that showed up more than a week ago – allergies most likely. Again it put a big crimp in my final long run on Saturday to the point where I wondered aloud for the first time – “How am I ever going to get through 13 miles of this?”

The truth is there’s been something that has just felt off to me over the last 4 weeks or so, and I have done my best to try to ignore it. But, as Sunday edges closer I cannot ignore it any longer. I’m going to have to make a decision to either run the half, drop down to the 5-miler or pass on the whole thing and look for something else down the road.

I really want to run this half – it was my first ever, it’s a great course and my whole family will be there along the route. However, I don’t want to limp through this half…no every race doesn’t need to be a PR, but I don’t want to struggle through it either if this cough won’t let me run it the way I want to. I’d rather keep the great memory I have of my first run and hold off for another year – does that make sense?

Right now I have no idea what the right call is. I’m going for a short run this morning to see if the allergy meds are having any effect.

Have you ever been on the fence about a race?Ā 
How did you make the call?


  1. I wish I were a better runner and had tips in that vein—but what I do know is you do know.
    Im a firm believer when we are still and present and listen to our bodies they tell us what we need.


  2. I would say–skip it. There are other races you can do when you are 100%. After just going through a 1/2 where my legs felt like crap going into it, I can say it wasn’t worth it. I could care less that I crossed that finish line. It was a demoralizing run and I shouldn’t have started. Keep your health first!

  3. I’d probably go for it…but don’t listen to me, I’m stubborn and have run races when I really shouldn’t and then paid for it by having to take a few weeks off completely! šŸ™‚

  4. Oh my gosh, this was all last week for me. I’ve been struggling with injuries and haven’t been able to train. I DNS’d a half a week ago and was registered for another half yesterday (sunday). I had decided that I was going to DNS this one because just walking wouldn’t do anything for me. Going into the race unprepared was just going to put me in a funk and do more damage mentally. Unfortunately peer pressure and practically a dare from my doctor made me do it. I still haven’t decided if I’m glad I did the race or not. My actual thoughts:

    If you can treat the race as a fun day out and be satisfied just to spend your day on the course, do it.

    If going at less than your potential will be un-motivating and frustrating for you, don’t do it.

    My race wasn’t the worst experience of my life, but I didn’t have fun.

  5. If this is not a “goal race” (which it doesn’t appear to be), and you aren’t feeling up to it or in the mood for it, I too would just skip it. Better to not sully the memory and aim for the next one down the road.

    Things just “might” turn around for you as the week progresses, but if it doesn’t, there will always be another. Hope you start feeling better soon !

  6. I agree what (most) of your other commenters are saying. If you really don’t feel up to it, and feeling as you do about just struggling through it, it is probably just better to skip it. You do have a couple days to see if you feel better, so give yourself that time before you decide.

    Last year, I threw a similar question out to my readers and most said go for it (my reason was basically lack of training, not illness). While I don’t regret doing that race, I struggled through it and felt pretty miserable both during and after. I could have happily skipped it and not regretted it.

  7. I’ve been on the fence about races before — probably more mental than physical things, but once I make the decision, I never second guess it. My advice is to wait it out a couple of days to see how you feel. If you’re still unsure, you know what to do. šŸ™‚

  8. I say wait it out and see how you feel as you get closer. I know its almost here, but a couple days might make a difference. But you know yourself better than anyone. Listen to your body.

  9. I was un-inspired for my last race but made it a point to run when my friend whimped out due to the rainy forecast. (No, I’m not competitive with her at all!) It ended up being a fine race, but no big deal if I’d missed it. I agree that you should wait a few days. If you are still coughing, no reason to push through and risk getting more sick.

  10. I got selected for the Nike Women’s half in San Fransisco but got hurt training. I tried hard to sell my bib but ended up walking it instead. The course was beautiful and I had a great time.

    I wasn’t sick just mentally wounded. I say if your coughing the day before I’d skip it, or walk it šŸ™‚

  11. I know how hard it is to not run a race once you’ve mentally committed to it – even if you aren’t feeling it. Listen to your body – watch that cough. If you were still having foot pain I would say no way. Glad to hear it’s passed.

  12. As long as you listen to your body and do what’s right for you everything will work out. Hope you continue to get better and can shake the cough.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge