Listening to Your Body: Knowing When to Say When

I was hoping for better today than what had happened. Both my wife and I had received bibs for the prestigious Falmouth Road Race 7 miler in Cape Cod, MA. What was even more exciting was that this was our first year entering the lottery to the hard-to-gain-entrance race and we had both made it through (a feat many told us was near impossible). Yesterday, we made the 90-minute trek down south, navigating the excruciatingly and mind numbingly slow Cape traffic to pick up our bibs and race gear in preparation for this morning's race. But, here it sits on my night stand, since we never made the trip this morning. I decided not to race.

Let's take a few steps back.

It all started a few weeks back on my company's softball team. I play in weekly beer league against other Boston based marketing agencies, and for the most part, it's all in good fun. The biggest issue I have is the games are played on very rough and hard turf, not grass, and sliding will almost guarantee some body part stinging in the shower after each game. For this particular game, I bared the brunt of the field's sandpaper-like vengeance. We were up 14-2 late in the game and I had just plopped a double into left center field. I notice the third baseman had neglected to cover third, and all I needed was a triple to hit for the cycle, so I went for it. Tearing from second base to third, I had nothing but daylight ahead of me, but at the last minute the pitcher went to cover third and received the ball from the outfielder. In order to skirt the tag, I hit the deck and slid on my right slide, tearing a deep, four-inch gash into my ankle. I was safe, but now had a pool of blood in my sock and pouring over the side of my shoe.

The injury is right where the foot meets the leg, so any time my foot moves, it reopens the gash. I've been trying to lay low to let it heal, but it has been glacially slow. I've tried everything possible to speed up the process, but no dice. So, that brings us to 4a this morning.

My head said,"Yes," but my leg said, "Oh, you've got to be insane to think we're running."

Waking up this morning, I was hoping my leg would hold out. For the most part it felt pretty good yesterday walking through expo, but after some rigorous activity, the wound had once again opened up. So, after discussing with my wife, we both decided it would be best to sit out. The injury has sidelined me for training for my first triathlon (can't use the pool) and Chicago Marathon and I really need to get healthy for those. By the time we reached that conclusion, it would have taken us too long to get down to Falmouth and we would have missed the race anyway. 

I've had to sit races out before, but those were because I was clinically injured, so this was my first time of making a judgement call. I'm sure I could have muddled through but listened to my body and in the end made the right call. It was tough not being there with my friends, but it sounds like they all did great and I'll see most of them in the coming months' races.

Have you ever had to make a judgement call day of a race to sit it out?