Every athlete has dealt with tough decisions about racing. Often it has to do with being sick or injured. That was my situation this morning when I had to decide whether or not to run a sprint triathlon.
I have been fighting a sore throat and congestion since Thursday. On Thursday night I took Nyquil and figured a solid 8-9 hours of sleep would help knock this sickness out. I woke up over 13 hours later after having slept through all of my alarms and missing half a day of work. Whoops! I guess my body really needed the sleep. Still, I figured that was the worst of it and last night I went to packet pickup, packed my triathlon bag, and put on my race number tattoos. I was excited!
I tried to go to bed early but after my 13 hours the night before, my body was having none of it. I ended up wide awake after midnight, tossing and turning. When my alarm went off at 4:30 AM my throat felt terrible. It hurt to swallow even after getting up and drinking a big glass of water. Also, you know when you have congestion and your ears feel sort of fluid-y? That was how I felt.
Long story short, I decided not to race. I hated making that decision but it didn’t make sense to me at that time to stress my body when I was already fighting something. When I thought about trying to swim and run and gasp for breath when it hurt to swallow, it didn’t sound at all appealing. So I didn’t go to the race.
The worst part was later that day when I had sort of an emotional breakdown. I was upset at myself for not toughing it out. I felt like I’d let myself and my friends that I was supposed to do the race with down. I felt like a failure. I still kind of feel that way. That may sound drastic. It’s just a race, right? I’ve always been like this though. I take it hard when I don’t reach my goals. And to be honest, with so much going wrong in my life over the last six months… this was just one more thing that didn’t go my way. It was a breaking point and I had a good long cry.
Now I’m trying to forget about the race and move on. I can’t change the fact that I didn’t run the race. That decision was made. From here I can just move forward and make sure that I train hard, eat right, and stay healthy for the other races I have coming up.