I left the final call to the last minute, late Saturday afternoon, although I had suspected I wouldn’t be able to go through with it. It’s very rare for me to enter a race and not do it. Equally rare for me to start one and not finish it. I used to say, “Never start a race you don’t think you can win,” though that expression was more motivation than aspiration. I’ve done far more races that I can recall that I never had a chance of winning.
My comeback from foot injury had gone slower than expected when I signed up for the race back in July. I started to weigh the impact on my ski season of doing one last running race –without the mileage in my legs and still without good signs from my body. I kept telling myself that if I was smart, I’d stop all running and get of my feet, get into the pool or something. But years of evidence easily call my judgment into question. I was holding out that I would miraculously feel better and all injury would be resolved by race day.
This morning, instead of waking up early, driving into Boston and taking the shuttle to Franklin Park to line up for a 13-mile race, I slept in, well past starting time, and enjoyed my coffee. I still worked out but I had to put the sense of failure from my mind. I should consider this a victory, of sorts — had I done the race I certainly would have prolonged the injury or made some new ones. Instead, I’m on a better track for the 2012-13 nordic season.