Not racing?

I was talking to a friend who seemed surprised that I might not run a race because I was injured.

To me this was obvious. My hips are misaligned at the moment. Back in 2003 I ran a race with misaligned hips and got a stress fracture in my pelvis. I do not wish to repeat that. Very painful. Kept me from running for about a year.

This went through my mind, but I didn’t actually say it because my friend had already continued: “Maybe it is pride.”

I hadn’t really thought of that (and it stung a little — so perhaps it’s true). I don’t want to run a race (or do anything) poorly. Everything deserves a good effort, and if I know I can’t give that then why demean the race by giving a performance that I know will be poor, better not to run.

(This is different from trying hard and failing — I hit the wall in Sacramento, but that was ok, I was doing my best, but to enter a race with no intention or ability to complete it well is an insult to the race).

For me, the whole point of a race is to get that added boost that the competition provides. If I want to run 26 miles, I can go out the back door and run 26 miles; I don’t need a race; I’ve done it often enough. In fact, if I’m not racing, I’m much rather do my 26 miles out on the trails where it is beautiful, not trotting around the streets of a city.

Some people enjoy crowds of spectators, or perhaps crowds of runners. I simply ignore spectators, and crowds of runners get in my way. I am focused on my race. A runner who can keep pace with me is a boon; that runner will help me do my best. But if I know I can’t do my best, I don’t care who is beside me.

That feels more like respect to me. Not simply pride.

Rather like the recent NY times blog post — if I’m gonna plod, I shouldn’t mess up a race. I can plod on my own. I prefer to plod on my own.

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2 Responses to “Not racing?”

  1. Chrystee Says:

    I miss you, “Jorge”!!! I hope you recover soon. You are being smart about it and will end up running your goal for SBIM 🙂

  2. nichol Says:

    Who could have possibly implied that pride had anything to do with reluctance to run a race? (insert innocent whistling). Got you a souvenir and it is SO turn of the century. Don’t know if it counts as tacky but still.

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