About the 40-miler that wasn't

The Plan: To run a 40-miler in Belgium on November 27th. Hilly race. Extra fun, while Paula would be there with me. Oh boy, I was looking forward to this race!!!

Training: I ran several marathons in preparation for this 40 mile baby. Did lots of hillwork.

How it turned out to be: Well...The day before the race, the flu kicked in. Not just a cold, nope...the big old flu. And it kicked in big time. Result: I spent a week in bed (hence, the not blogging for a week). High fever. And obviously did not run that 40-miler. And felt awful about that. Am still feeling kind of awful about it.

So, here's what the brain says: wise call. The flu isn't a mild case of the sniffles. You should not race while trying to beat the flu. It would have been a truly stupid thing to do tip toe the start line. And yes, it doesn't matter that it was a 'I really want to do this one' race. The flu = no racing.

But here's what the heart says: This was a 'I really want to do this one' race! You're such a weak pussy for not sucking it up and tip toeing that start line! And spending a week in bed - you have lost all of your fitness!

Yep, the funny way my mind works...

Did you ever miss an A-race due to flu/injury/etc? Are you a 'mind' or 'heart' person on racing while dealing with flu/injury/etc?


Karien P. said...

:( - So sorry you missed your race! That really sucks. Still think you made a wise call, though.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I can't say what I might have done because it's a judgment call given the situation BUT I am thinking you probably made the WISE choice!!

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry about THE race!!! I know how much you were looking forward to it. I think it was a wise call, because the true flue is really a bad thing, but I know you and know how hard this must be for you. I am sure you will be ready for the next "A" race very soon!


Paul said...

You did the right thing! Running with a virus is extremely dangerous.

There are a few people that have even gotten into a chronic overtrained state that doesn't go away...no matter how long they rest they never get back to a previous level of performance.

So I would not mess around if I had the flu.

Run Jess Run said...

You really did the right thing! You shouldn't feel bad about missing the race because you were uber sick. There's always next year!

B. Jarosz said...

You made the right decision!
I hope you are feeling better now.

Enjoy a Long Run said...

I have enjoyed following your blog for a while, and in this you are once again spot on.I had same experience a few weeks ago – trained for the second “A” race of the year. Too much work = knew 4-5 weeks before that the target would be tight. Mileage ok, but quality not ok. Mental focus and preparation started the evening before the race. And this was after 10 days of flue… not the bad kind of yours, only the “long nose, little fever and not really fit” kind of flue.
Anyway – stood there “tip toed” on the starting line and wondered “Is this really the right thing to do, right place to be…?” Reduced the target slightly, right there on the starting line – (Project Manager = like to set ambiguous target and be gentle in "penalties"), knowing it would be a hard day. And, Yep it did.
Listening to that little flame or spark in the back of the head: “Don’t quit now – take it all the way, you trained +50hour a month for this. Knowing the traning have been more than ok for finishing, the distance is no worry, only speed is. Dont let all down which have "suffered" for the prioritization of traning!" “Finish this race to get the experience of trying to be mental off, and still cross the finish line – good lesson if (god forbid that…) it should happen again.”
So I choose to “die with my boots on – trying my best”.
In the “dark spots” the little dark voice said: “Why the hell are you not home for the family dinner celebrating your sons birthday, eating his cake…!?”
Not even my damn Mp3 player worked when it should so…
I came through. Not at my target but even though I did not reach that target – I did get something good out of it: 3 good lessons learned.
1. I know my body – it said: You don’t reach the target – physically. Distance is no problem, speed is. Listen to this and accept it. (If it IS your body and not your head telling you that... )
2. The little flame in the back of the head – just give it a little fuel now and then – and it will get you through. Learn what the fuel is. I know my fuel.
3. Some tough hours of “race in your head” experience – and a good reason for a longer reflection of the last 2 months up to the race. This is where to find what went wrong and why. And during the last part of the race, the 3 “A” races for 2012 came in place.
So to you - would I “tip toe” at the starting line under same conditions again? Well, I guess yes, now I glad I did this time.
Would I do so if I really was in high fever and should stay in bed? Nope - no way. But HELL – I know YOUR feeling now… you wonder what would have happened IF you tried...? With the BAD flue - My guess – you had to DNF, and then it would had been a even harder mental thing to break. So use the experience from now to accept what your body tells you – and use this next time again.
Get on the horse (in the shoes)- look at your next target, and get running again!
Sorry for the long reply...