I would love for someone to tell why it’s so hard to do the right thing. It’s incredibly easy to know what you should do, but can be frustratingly difficult to actually do it. Right is good and everyone wants to be good. It’s always easy and straightforward in the abstract, however once you actually enter real life situations the decisions become much, much harder.
My difficulty revolved around whether to run a local race yesterday. I had gotten the initial email about it months back and while it sounded interesting (local and new), it was only 2 weeks after the C&O 100 and I figured I wouldn’t be fully recovered enough to run it. So I didn’t sign up and mostly put it out of my head. Then as the middle of last week rolled around, I got another email. And I started thinking a bit more about it. Then my wife read that email (we both ran a race put on by the race organization several years back) and told me she and our son were going to do it. Now what used to be an incredibly easy decision starts to become a little bit less so.
The middle of last week turns into late last week and now my legs are starting to feel pretty good. They’re not quite 100% recovered yet (still some very minor tightness in my left hip), but they’re at least 95% and pushing 98% good to go. My daily 1 mile runs are starting to get a little quicker, which is a sure sign that my recovery is rapidly becoming complete. Now what was a mildly challenging decision quickly turns into an agonizing one as I start to think, well . . . maybe. . .
And I enter full blown rationalization mode. I always have a little tightness somewhere so maybe I’m as healed as I’m going to get. It’s only 6 miles so that’s not going to beat me up too badly. Toss in the fact that my wife and son are going to do the 5K and now my ego wants to get in on the action and start influencing things. If the rest of my family can do this, then surely Mr. Big Deal 100 Miler can do it as well. And did I mention that this was in a park not too far from our house with new trails that I hadn’t been on before? I could go and just run it. Take it nice and easy. I was planning on getting out and running about 5 miles anyways. What’s another mile among friends? I don’t have to race it just because they pin a bib on me. I could do it for fun. So yesterday morning, I packed up the wife and kid and drove over to the race.
And did the smart thing by cheering my family on as they both had awesome days out on the trails. I really, really wanted to go run with them, but this is not what the doctor (if I happened to ask one) would have ordered. I thought about what my goals are and right now the primary one is getting to the starting line of Eastern States 100% healthy. It’s possible I could have gone and run Saturday without hurting myself. It’s quite even probably that this would have been the outcome. But I also know myself and I am awful at running races at training efforts. More likely than not, I would have been pushing a hard effort by mile 2. I feel really good now physically, but I don’t know how the additional stress would have impacted me.
I did end up running 5 miles yesterday, but it was at a very low effort. It was the right thing to do. It was the smart thing to do and I’m glad that was the way I ended up going. But I still keep asking myself. . .
Why do the right decisions always have to be so hard?!?!