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Monday, December 7, 2009

When to Quit

After some wonderful trail running and food in Santa Fe last weekend, I was suddenly slammed with Vertigo. It hit me like a ton of bricks while driving to the office the morning after I returned. Technically Vertigo or not, I've got the inner ear symptoms similar to it. The good news is that it has improved gradually. I now struggle with whether or not I'll be able to (or should) run the Dallas White Rock Marathon this coming weekend. The pressure from family and co-workers to drop out is immense already.

I was fascinated how quickly those who don't run were quick to recommend I sit this one out. For some reason, I thought they'd have more respect for the effort put in to train for this thing. Aren't these the people who make The Biggest Loser such of popular TV show? As usual, I was wrong. Why was I surprised? I mean, these folks are the ones who ask if I plan to win. Of course they don't get it.

Fellow runners speak with more caution. They want to know what my doctor says. My favorite question: "How bad is it?"

That question says a lot. They get it! Clearly, runners deal with a lot of physical ailments while training. We utter "how bad is it?" to ourselves and other runners often. It means, simply, 'you think you'd die if you gave it a go?'

So, in order to receive your proper opinion, let me elaborate on how bad it is. At present, I still get dizzy when driving and doing various tasks with my hands while sitting or standing. My doctor wants to initiate the standard tests, but was clear to point out that if it were indeed Vertigo there is not test to confirm such. They basically just rule out big health threats: brain tumor, hear condition, diabetes, etc. and hope it clears up in a number of weeks or months.

Even though I'm tapering, I did run some the past two days to see what would happen. Day one was a mess. Less dizzy the second day and I began to think that maybe I could deal with this for four and a half hours. Why not? Rough morning today followed by no symptoms this afternoon.

I've promised my family and doctor that I'd make an honest race time decision. Assess how I feel after driving to the race. I suppose the only fear I have is how honest I'll be with myself about how I feel. I'm praying this week for this discernment on Sunday. To be able to separate my "want to" from deep desire to run. Our temptations are just that. Strong "want to" vs. what is right.

I cannot imagine the pressure I'd feel if this were my first marathon. Heck, I just decided to run this event about a month ago. I have nowhere near as much invested as a first timer or someone who started with a training group 18 weeks ago. Some of those folks are facing a similar question and opting not to run is a tougher decision.

So, I enter the next several days praying for improved health and for understanding if things simply do not lead to my running the event. There are other marathons, be honest...I really, REALLY want to run this thing. This ain't gonna be easy.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace