Flip the switch?

Today’s Workout:
The Plan: 45 Minutes Strength
The Actual: Full Rest Day

If you’d asked me on Tuesday the probability that I’d be running Saturday’s race, I would have given you a slightly optimistic 25% chance answer.  However, after a week of legitimate rest, stretching three times a day, “bathing” myself in Arnica cream, heating pad twice a day and ibuprofen, I would say the chance has increased to about 85%.  The hip flexor is significantly better but my right lower back is still really tight.  With an agenda tomorrow comprised of deck demolition i.e. a lot of bending, this will still be a game day decision and if I do run it won’t be in “race mode”….or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

It’s often a blessing, but definitely sometimes a curse, that I’m competitive.  Whatever the arena, classroom, work, soccer field, running, etc. it’s 110% effort, go for the gold, leave it on the field.  It’s really hard for me to flip that switch to off – I take lawn games very seriously and have not let my son win anything in the first 4 years of his life.  “Clear the mechanism” from the For the Love of the Game is one of the best sport quotes and for me “it” just happens at the starting line.  It’s innate….and frighteningly it appears I may have passed this on to my son.  Poor kid.

Even now, as I write this post willing myself to believe that Saturday will just be for fun, I can feel the twinge in my stomach, that rush of adrenaline that feels SO GOOD and is telling me that “maybe” I could beat my time from last year.  The devil on my shoulder keeps whispering, “Even injured, you’re in better shape and the weather is going to be SO MUCH better than last year.  You could do it.”  At the same time, my brain is SCREAMING at me that pushing it on Saturday, even if I feel better, isn’t worth extending this “rest” because I re-injure something.  There’s a greater goal….it just happens to be three months away.

Last year I finished in 53:48 with a pace of 8:40 so, to be honest, beating last year would be tight even in the best of circumstances.  Maybe that reality will be enough to quiet the competitive fire?  Here’s hoping my body lets me at least show-up.  I’d like to think my brain can win this battle but my heart kind of doesn’t want it to.

Do you race “for fun” or is it always about a PR or placing in your division?

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