Powerman Duathlon: October 2nd, 2010 Muncie, Indiana
One week ago I decided to call the season to an end at Nationals so I could let me body rest, recover and heal. Yesterday at 7 a.m. I found myself standing at packet pick-up with my two girlfriends/athletes who are racing, and toiling with the idea of entering the race. I have my bike with me. I also have running shoes. Have I really just traveled 230 miles to just watch a duathlon? 5k run, 20k bike, 5k run…a distance I could do with my eyes closed; but the real question is, should I do it? I know I said I was done with my season this year, but what can one more race hurt?
As a strong believer in all things happening at the right place and time; I started to give into the temptation, then the announcer comes onto the speakers and says, “the rain is expected to come in about 30 minutes”. Is this divine intervention? “Ladies, you have yourself a good time”, I said. I had just spent last weekend running in the rain and doing thought of it two weeks in a row was not my idea of fun…especially in cold rain.
Although I felt a little left out as my girlfriends made lap after lap past me throughout the morning and I was still out in the rain getting wet anyway, I knew I had made the right decision to continue to let my body rest and fully heal. I had a wonderful time cheering them both on to their Age Group Victories and taking pictures. My family came out to watch my friends and hang out with me and I got to play with my two fabulous nephews. Even in the rain it was a good day.
On our way home as we were talking about the race, my girlfriend (and one of my marathon runners) said to me that she had learned important lesson today; how it is okay to not race when your body needs to heal. By seeing me stand on the sideline, knowing how much I wanted to be out there with them, she saw it is just as important at times to put recovery first. Reconfirmed, I knew I had done the right thing by sitting out of the race. Not only because I needed to let my leg continue to heal, but also to lead by example how important it is to do what you always tell your athletes to do when they are injured. It is moments like that when I know my runners still need me as a coach and it makes even a hamstring strain all worth it.