This morning was the ChiTown Half Marathon. And I was a DNS (did not start). I know it was the smart choice. But unfortunately, just because it was the smart choice doesn't mean it makes me happy as I sit here instead.
That hip/SI pain that had kept me from running for two weeks seemed to be resolved. On Tuesday night I did a 20 minute run on the treadmill. Apart from feeling really out of shape and slow (tough to hang on to 9:15 min/mi), I had no pain. Score. Friday I ran again, this time a tougher run of 1 hr with 4x800s. I came in at 7.25 miles and was thrilled. The run had felt great. No pain, and I felt in shape. Then Saturday came and I paid for it. It really didn't seem to bad, but my whole thigh was sore, especially laterally, just proximal to my knee. A bit of hip pain, but definitely widespread soreness. I got a 2.5 hr bike done and that actually seemed to help loosen me up. I went to bed last night (late) planning on running this race.
When I woke up, it was clear that wasn't going to happen. Even lying in bed, I had significant anterior hip pain that radiated down my thigh when I internally rotated my hip. Once out of bed, I had pain with every step walking. Nothing life shattering, but strong enough that 13.1 miles would be hell.
I know there are times to push through the pain. My first marathon was an extremely painful experience where I spent 16.2 miles cursing my IT band (I got the first 8 miles painfree). Yes, it teaches you some things, that you are stronger than the pain, that you can persevere. All that mental toughness stuff. But there is also just the "stupid" factor. At this point, I have nothing to prove. This would be different if this had been my A race and I'd devoted all my time and energy to it. But it was suppose to be a fun training even, perhaps a bit of redemption after a bad race in New Orleans. Pushing through the pain would've meant a miserable 13.1 miles.
Even more than being miserable while racing, I know this was the smart thing to do for training overall. I know how much pain I have from that 7 mile run, I really don't want to know what tomorrow would've felt like if I did today's race. I know that being able to train this week, including running hopefully, is more important than getting through a half marathon today.
So the frustrating thing is that I know all of this, but it still doesn't make me happy with my choice. I still feel like a cop out. I am still disappointed. I still wish I could have that glow all day of "why yes, I started my day with a half marathon, what did you do." But for now, I will have to just move on, so that when it comes time to really race, I will be ready.