I was supposed to run the Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon yesterday. It would have been my fourth time in four years. Except it didn't happen. Instead it was the very first time that I ever missed a race that I was registered for. There were several factors that led up to the decision not to run, and I know that it was the smart move, but I wasn't prepared for how sad I would be to miss it. I had been sick, and already nursing a pulled muscle in my leg, and I was admittedly undertrained for the race, but I still thought I could pull it off, SOMEHOW. But the reality of further sickness or injury I could come away with was the bottom line that I had to work with.
So while I was bummed out when I made the decision not to run, when I woke up yesterday on race day and realized just what missing the race felt like, I was hit with a wave of emotion that I wasn't prepared for.
I hadn't realized until that point just how much it meant to me to accomplish this goal. How much training for the race was just as much a part of the joy as finishing that final mile. It took missing this race to make me really appreciate my ability to train for and complete this goal. I had taken that ability for granted and because of that I have come away with a brand new lesson from the race that wasn't.
Yes training for a race like this is a pain in the butt for me. Finding the time, dealing with the weather, calling on energy to run when it is the very last thing that I feel like doing... I hope that I don't forget this realization that being able to do this is a privilege, and one that I better stop taking for granted. And I hope that I can make it up to myself next year. :)
You can live a healthy lifestyle in the real world without giving up everything that makes you happy.