Some decisions are easy and are made in the blinking of an eye or the "shake of a lamb's tail". Others are a lot more tricky and really take time to figure out, weighing up the pros and cons. I've had two tricky, running based decisions this week. Both of them involved pulling out of races.
I was registered for two half marathons in September, one week apart from each other. Now I can run that distance every weekend and still do the rest of my training. I'm not boasting, there's a good percentage of runners far more capable than I, it's just the level I'm at right now. But I'm going to work towards the Dublin Marathon at the end of October, so I really don't want to risk injury that close to the big one.
I checked the elevations of both races and backed out of the Cliffs of Moher, as the profile was too steep to fit into my current level of training. That wasn't too tricky to decide. I'm still doing the Dublin HM.
The really tricky one was Portumna, my first 50k race. Had my training gone to plan, I would have recovered well from Connemarathon, done the Kildare HM and coasted into base building for Portumna. It didn't.
Two weeks before Kildare I strained one of my hamstrings and it's taken 4-5 weeks to be able to run well again. I told myself that if I couldn't do a 30k run two weeks out of the race, then I had no business going to the start line of a 50k. So on Sunday I went out and kept going until I had just over 30k on the Garmin. Afterwards I had my usual recovery drink, fruit, water and a big dinner. The next day I was tired, hungry and sore. It wouldn't normally take me that long to recover from a run under 3 hours long.
So on Tuesday (yesterday), I reached the decision that yes, I did the run I had set out to do, but my body was reeling afterwards. What would happen if I tried to do another 20k at the same level of fitness? I had clearly lost a lot of training in the time it had taken for my hamstring to mend. So I emailed the RD and asked to defer my entry until next year.
I don't feel good about the decision, but I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. Some stress is gone. After all, I'm in this for fun, I'm not getting paid for it! If I can't go into a race and enjoy it - why enter?