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Jun 9 2015
Tough Decisions

Sometimes as a runner you have to listen to your body. Most of us want to ignore the clues our body is giving us and keep pushing through. When we actually listen, we realize we might see a reality we don’t like. Sometimes, that reality forces a tough decision. I was faced with the dilemma of facing reality and making a tough call a few weeks ago.

Let’s rewind about 6 months when I trained for the Walt Disney World Marathon. During that training cycle, I had some issues with my right foot but I pushed through thinking this was normal when training for long distances. When marathon morning arrived that overcast January day, I realized that the issue with my foot was more than just normal training pains. As I made my way out of Animal Kingdom shortly past the half marathon mark, every single step hurt my foot. I continued to push on but at a reduced pace. By about mile fourteen, my left leg was seizing up. I had been altering my gait during the first half unknowingly and my left leg was taking on extra work to protect my right foot. I decided to push through that pain and get through that marathon at all costs. I was close to dropping out at about mile eighteen but told myself I hadn’t traveled all that way to quit. I slowed way down but I finished. After the marathon, I hobbled around Disney World for the rest of our trip and had trouble walking barefoot. I knew I had to make a call to an orthopaedic doctor to have my foot checked out. Turns out it was an overuse injury and we talked through rehabbing it and getting back to running.

Training for HFM Maritime Marathon was going really well until a few weeks ago. I had hit my eighteen mile run and while it wasn’t a super strong run, I got through it and had quality time on my feet. As I went into the next training week, I felt that familiar twinge in my foot that had I encountered in my last training cycle. As I started the next week of training, I could tell I was changing my gait to put less pressure on my foot. I decided to pull back on training that week as a precaution. When I started running again, I knew that getting into the twenty mile range was going to do some damage. I talked with my husband about what I should do. I was looking for a reason to keep training and run this marathon. He asked the tough questions and showed me what felt like a lot of tough love. After a few days of soul searching, I decided I was still going to take part but drop to the half marathon distance.

This was a tough call for me to make. I wanted redemption at this marathon and to run it in my hometown. Dropping to the half marathon distance left me feeling weak and that I wasn’t tough enough. In reality, that decision was just the opposite. It takes a lot of courage to make the tough calls in life. It makes me stronger for listening to my body so I can run this race next summer even better.

Enjoy the taper runners. In less than five days we will be at the starting line of a beautiful course. While it is hard to slow down in the few days before the big race, your body needs it. Treat your body well by stretching, eating healthy, hydrating properly, and getting plenty of sleep. I looking forward to seeing you at the start line on Sunday!

Join Melissa as she trains for the HFM Maritime Marathon. She'll share the lessons she's learning, entertain and hopefully inspire you along the way.


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