A Decision Every Runner Dreads Having To Make

It is official!  I am pulling out of the BMO Vancouver Marathon.  The race is scheduled for May 7th, 2017, in just 8 weeks.  This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as a runner.

I ran the BMO Vancouver Marathon, my first marathon experience, last year.  I have been training since early January for this years event.  It has been a challenging training year, but each week my motivation and excitement has grown.

Two weeks ago, on February 19th, I ran a well paced 25k, a solid training session, about 60k total for the week.  The 32k LSD (long slow distance) training sessions were just within reach.  Then, just one day later, and quite suddenly, I got sick.  Within 24hrs, my lungs became congested, quickly followed by a slew of other flu symptoms.

After a week off the road, I went to the doctor, who promptly put me on antibiotics – an infection had made camp in my lungs, one step closer to pneumonia.  Now, two weeks later, with absolutely zero running due to lingering congestion, the marathon training window has become nearly impossible to crawl through.  Today, I am making the decision to withdrawal from the race.  Do I feel like a loser?  Yah….kinda!

What Options Do I Have?

After days of torturing myself, or better stated, my ego beating me down, I am looking to turn my race withdrawal into an opportunity.  My standard “all or nothing” thinking approach attempts to inform me that my cancellation equals failure, while at the same time yelling, “You are not a real runner…PUSSY!”  Being the polite Canadian that I am, my replay usually is, “Oh, thanks for letting me know…bye bye!”

I have no plans to quit running races, or running for that matter.  Thus, what are my options?  How can I turn my perceived “failure” into a massive success?  Sign up for a big race!:

  1. The BMO Vancouver Marathon has a deferral program.  If I sign up, I can defer my race until 2018, and get a 50% discount, as long as I volunteer at the start line this coming May. AWESOME!  This fits for me as I have been contemplating volunteering at races in the Lower Mainland.  SCORE!
  2. There are a number of other races throughout the Summer and Fall months.  In fact, the there are two marathons held in Vancouver that might just do the trick!
    1. MEC Lower Mainland:  Road Race Nine – October 1st
    2. Boundary Bay Marathon – November 5th

Over the next few days, I will commit to one of the above races.  My decision will be based on which course is the most interesting, AND the event with the most pre and post race bling.

Creating Success Out of Perceived “Failure”

Running is a teacher, in more ways than I ever imagined.  Our ability to persevere through the physical challenge is only one of the many lessons available to us.  Moreover, running continues to show me the mental traps I habitually fall into, and challenges me to fix my go-to distorted approach to thinking.  I refuse to be mastered by negativity from others, and negativity from myself.  We must not be slave to our thoughts.  Instead, kick them in the ass!

Moving Forward

As I continue to recover from my respiratory illness, eagerness to get back on the road builds every day.  I have an opportunity to build on the limitations my body presents.  I am well on my way!

Toughest Decision Ever – Pulling Out of the BMO Vancouver Marathon was last modified: June 1st, 2017 by Jerod Killick