It's so easy to sign up for races. All that's required is a runner's high that erases all hesitation and a willingness to pay $40 for a few hours of torture. This familiarity with the phrase: "Yes, of course I'll run that!" made me think twice this morning. It was still dark outside when my alarm woke me up at 4:30am. That would have allowed me 2:30 to prepare for the Barr Trail Mountain Race. I rolled out of bed, pulled out my Purple and Gold singlet and was about to down a handful of Advil to temporarily rid my hip of the nagging pain that's kept my mileage low for the last few weeks. That's when I decided to test the hip, run around, see how it felt - thankfully my roommates were out of town so there was no one, aside from our huge rabbit population, to see me running around outside the house at 4:36 am.
Rest has its merits, my hip feels better than it did last week - no stabbing pain, just a stiff ache. But did I really want to throw that progress down the side of Barr Trail this morning? No. I love this sport; I love the friends, the competition, the gear, the technical talk, and the war stories after a hard run. I want to be on the trails in 30, 40, 50, even 60 years if I'm lucky. At 23 a handful of Advil shouldn't be an option. I'm young enough to fix my form, strengthen my core, cross train more effectively, essentially do whatever it takes to solve the underlying problem. The Barr Trail Mountain Race will be around next year, still waiting to be tackled. This year, I have other goals that are requiring me to take a step back and realize I can only run so much.
I feel like a lazy bum as I plot out a short, flat afternoon run. I also feel a little proud of myself - I'm not usually one to pass up a challenge,so saying "no" was no easy feat. I'm banking on the fact that this uncharacteristic weekend off will make my upcoming races - the Classic 10K and then...the Ascent, that much more enjoyable.