Some of you are probably wondering how my race went on Sunday. Some of you even contacted me about it. Thank you by the way if you did. Here’s the thing with planning races and events and really life in general. We can want certain things and hope for specific events, but ultimately we don’t always have control over everything. I really wanted Sunday to be my positive return to running in 2014 and to turn my trail race record around, but sadly it didn’t happen.
Sunday I woke up with a headache. It felt like a caffeine headache. I still showered, got my race gear on, and finished getting ready for my race. It was raining outside, the wind was blowing at 20 some miles per hour, and the weather channel said it felt 33 outside. During this time my headache went from bad to terrible. The pounding was intense and I’ve never had a headache like it. I was also extremely exhausted. My husband lay sleeping in a cozy bed and didn’t really want to cheer for me or wait in the car (although he would have because he is that kind of a guy). I made the decision not to race for only the second time in my life. I decided to climb back in bed next to my warm husband and sleep in-something we hardly ever get to do.
After sleeping on and off and dealing with the headache for five hours, I caved and had some caffeine. I just couldn’t take it. In a short while the headache improved and I slept on the drive home. All day long I was in a funk though. I was so disappointed in myself for not running the race. I had been looking forward to it for so long. I started thinking maybe the run would have made the headache go away. Maybe I should have at least attempted it. I was mad for not even trying. I started to question the headache and if I was just making an excuse. This feeling carried into Monday.
Monday I decided I’d mourned the missed race enough. I was reminded of something another blogger said (sorry can’t remember who) in the past few weeks about running. Running is a hobby. When running becomes about times, pressure, racing, and other requirements I need to step back and remember why I love it. At times when I put this pressure on myself I need to remember that running isn’t my job. It’s not my assignment. It is my hobby. If I don’t feel well enough to do it, then why would I do it. Running should be about enjoyment and relaxing and stress relief and forgetting your troubles, not about guilt.
I’ve finally come to terms with my choice and have put that race behind me. Now I’m glad I chose extra nap and snuggle time with the husband and got the miles in later. Running through a headache like that would have been ridiculous. I’ve got a big race coming up this weekend and more trail race opportunities in May. Running is for me, so why would I let me take the fun out of running? Sunday was a great reminder that running is a hobby. We can be passionate about it. We can obsess about it. We can think about it hours a day. But, when it gets to be a lot-remember it’s a hobby. Your hobby.