Time to fold ’em

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run…”

This is not the training update I wanted to be writing…but, I’ve reached a decision – it is time for me to fold ’em on this training cycle. I have been giving everything I can to try to get through my training plan for Philly but the reality is you can either focus on getting 100% healthy or you can train – you can’t do both. Or at least I know I can not.

When I learned that I’m anemic I was relieved to have an answer to my energy woes. My first thought was “I still have time – just change the diet and I’ll be back on track.” The reality is for me this has not been a quick bounce back and yet I have continued to push my body – push the distances, push the speedwork. There have been some really solid workouts, but they’ve taken a toll on me later in the day. Honestly my comfort zone is 6 – 7 miles…after that things get really hard – like short-of-breath, headache-inducing hard.

Of course, I’m disappointed – Philly was a goal race in a year of very little racing. I’m not interested in going and struggling or worrying about how under-trained I am or if I’ll hold up on the course. Feeling healthy and strong again is so much more important – there will be other races (you should see what I’m planning for 2015!).

walk away

Once I made the decision and discussed it with J and Coach Bennett, I felt a great sense of relief. You see, the other thing that was happening is that running had stopped being my stress release – it had become something to stress about. Oh so no bueno! This is just one race — time to know when to walk away…this is not the time to run.

Have you ever walked away from a goal race?




  1. So sorry to hear this Michelle. Ironically Philly was a DNS for me a few years ago due to a hip injury. Wishing you speedy and complete healing.
    Marcia recently posted…NYCM Race Essentials and a GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Aw I am SO sorry to hear that you have to walk away…but you’re right, you’re showing wisdom! I’ve had two 10k’s that I had signed up for and had to DNS because of injury. When I ran the Philly Half in 2012, I was woefully undertrained and was miserable after the first 6 miles, I probably should have DNS. I hope your recovery goes well, and I look forward to hearing your plans for 2015!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Weekly Workout Recap: The Madness is Over!My Profile

  3. Always a tough decision, but usually the right one too. Running should be fun – when it’s not, something needs to change.

  4. never a fun decision but always the right one. Can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for you!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki RecipeMy Profile

  5. Sometimes the smart decisions are not the easy ones — but you will roar back when you are feeling better! Good luck!

  6. I understand completely, to race a goal race you have to believe in yourself and how your body will hold up during that race. From reading your blog lately and today’s post, it is clear you do not feel that way.

    Can you defer due to injury? Iron deficiency is serious and negatively impacts a runner’s ability to train and run.

    I have “walked” away from a couple of goal races this year, due to my hamstring/achilles issues and yes it is tough, hurts the ego (we want to believe we could still do it), but discretion is the better part of valor and you will come back and run well again next year.

    Feel better and run well.
    Harold recently posted…Rungry and So Very Tired – RunLog 10-29-14My Profile

    • So true Harold, the ego does take a beating, but I remind myself that my ultimate goal is a long-term relationship with running – so gotta treat the body well, right?

  7. I’m sorry to hear it, Michelle, but it sounds like a wise move. There will be other races when you are at 100%. Until then, focus on getting to that 100%!
    misszippy recently posted…Runners are not universally lovedMy Profile

  8. Oh no! Sorry to hearthis Michelle. Can you transfer to next year? Feeling healthy is much more important than trying to complete a race.
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Two New Restaurants Come to DisneyMy Profile

  9. I applaud you for listening to your body and doing what is right for you right now. That’s how to avoid injury and burnout. When running isn’t fun anymore it’s time to ask why. I’m really proud of you
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Trick or Treat Halloween Workout For The Whole FamilyMy Profile

  10. Coach Bennett says:

    Wise decision, Michelle.

  11. Well done for making the decision – definitely not an easy one but so important to put your health and body first so that you can live to run another day. I’m contemplating doing something similar for a goal race I have coming up so I know how hard it is. Looking forward to seeing what you have ahead in 2015!
    Gill Light recently posted…when things don’t go according to planMy Profile


  1. […] we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that since I’ve made my decision about Philly, running has become a lot less stressful for me – definitely a sign that it was the right […]

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