Friday, July 20, 2012

The "Right" Decision?

Making decisions for me are never easy.  I take after my mom in this regard. 

Friend: "Where do you want to go to eat?"
Me :"Doesn't matter."  or "I don't know."
Friend: "Would you like to eat at A, B or C?"
Me: "Anything is fine."

Movies, clothes, name it and I can't decide on it.  Now, I can make a decision sometimes...I'm actually a little better than my mom.  Some things are so trivial that I really don't care.  Some things I analyze to death and don't want to make a wrong decision.

That's what I'm struggling with right now.  Running the half marathon on Sunday.  Should I or shouldn't I.  Make a decision.  What's the right decision? 

That's the hard part.  There is no clear cut right decision.  So, let me walk you through a little of my thought process and then I will tell you what I'm thinking I might do.

You remember I dislocated my shoulder last Wednesday, right?  I didn't forget.  I'm still in a sling.  The doctor said 7-10 days. It's day 9 today.  It's still sore mostly in the mornings and when I'm trying to sleep at night.  It hurts to use it much, like changing my clothes.  But on average, it's much better than when I hurt it.

I have my favorite half marathon on Sunday.  This will be the 6th time I've run it (if I run it).  Starting in 2006, then every year since 2008.  I run it for 3 reasons...#1 - It was my first half marathon I ever ran. #2 - Starting in 2008, I started running it for my charity UPS for DownS (you can make a donation by visiting my fundraising page),  #3 - Also in 2008, my friend Jason was shot and killed the morning of this half marathon, so I run it for him too.  In my opinion, 3 very important reasons to run this half every year.  And it's also why I sign up for it the year before as soon as it is available to register.

Granted, it will be ok if I didn't run the half on Sunday.  I'm aware of that.  But inside I would feel disappointed.

My choices are the following:

- Don't run the half and rest up the shoulder so it recovers quicker.  I would still go to cheer on everyone.  After all, the Chicago Marathon is the priority.

- Run the half slowly with walk breaks if needed.  Assess the situation and if there is too much pain in the later miles, pull myself from the run.  Use this run as just another regular long run in your Marathon Training schedule and in no way try to PR it.  After all, you don't want to miss too many training miles or long runs.  After all, the Chicago Marathon is the priority.

Hm.....seems as though the Chicago Marathon is my priority.  In both scenarios.  So which is the "right" choice??  I was asked if I would actually be able to pull myself from the race if my shoulder was hurting too much.  The answer to that question was "yes".  I can because I DO know that the marathon is the priority.

I ran twice this week.  Wednesday I ran with run/walk intervals.  I ran slowly, about 10:45 min miles and with walk intervals, my avg pace was 12:00 per mile.  I ran 3+ miles.  I wanted to see how my shoulder felt after running.  It felt fine during and after, just a few sudden moments of pain down my arm when I moved it wrong.  I was really focusing on my posture and keeping my shoulders down while running.

I ran again on Thursday, 4+ miles.  I was planning on running slowly but because I was with people, I ended running faster than intended.  The first two miles were sub 10:00 pace (9:45 & 9:55).  I lost it in the 3rd mile and walked twice.  The fourth mile was about 10:16.  Again, my shoulder felt good.  It was just tired from the position I was holding it in.  It's not easy to run with only one arm helping with the momentum. 

Can I tell how I will feel running the half with only 2 training runs of 3 and 4 miles?  Absolutely not!  I'm fully aware of that.  What feels ok at mile 4 can feel really bad at mile 8!

My current decision:  I'm running the half on Sunday.  I'll start slowly.  I'll keep assessing my body and how I feel at every mile.  If I start to feel as though something doesn't feel quite right, I'll bring it to a walk. If it starts to feel worse, I'll pull myself from the run.  In no way will I try to PR this all.  I've always PR'd this half marathon so going in knowing I'm not going to is a switch for me!  But the good thing is that it's supposed to be hot and humid.  So when I don't PR, I won't have to "blame" the weather...I can just "blame" my shoulder.  Haha

Good luck to everyone running the Rock N Roll Half Marathon on Sunday!  


  1. Sorry about your shoulder! Glad you decided to run it and just take it in stride - no need to PR - hopefully it wasn't too hot for you!