Fight or Flight

I’m not going to lie: I am incredibly depressed. I tend to fight a little bit of depression most of the time, I think, but lately, it has been bad. There are several things that factor in, but I know not running right now is a HUGE part of it. I also know that I’m on the cusp of making a decision I’m not very happy about.

After taking a full week off and feeling pretty good this week with yoga and strength training workouts, my back is still in pretty bad shape. Even walking without a limp is a challenge, and while I can do my workouts, I’m not able to give 100%. I’m smart enough to know that I shouldn’t start running again until I’m pain free, and unfortunately, I don’t feel like I’m close to that at all. It’s going to be at least another week, if not longer, before I can even think about it.

So, I have a decision to make.

Rest another week and hope I can continue training. Still try to run the marathon on April 21 after 3 weeks off with only 6 weeks to really train.


Give up hope of running my marathon on April 21 and relax. Take my time healing up and look for another marathon later in the spring to train for.

Somewhat coincidentally, I got an email from my running group’s sponsor that linked to an article about decision making when an injury interrupts your training plan called Fight or Flight.

To race or not to race

Basically, I’m at the 2 week mark with my time off, leaving me with about 7 weeks before the marathon. According to the article (broken down in the handy infographic above), I need to seriously consider postponing my race–and that’s if I’m totally healthy, which I’m not.

I think I know the right decision, but making it is breaking my heart. 😦


28 thoughts on “Fight or Flight

  1. Renee B says:

    Melissa, As much as it hurts, not to do the marathon. You take the chance of injuring yourself even further. Believe it or not, I too, was addicted to running many moons ago. I fell and injured myself, didn’t give my body enough time to heal and reinjured time and time again. NOW……I can not run any longer and I’m sick about it. So, take your time and LISTEN to your body! You will for sure be better in the long run! Cheer up, this too will pass~ love

  2. There will always be another time to run if you are healthy. Don’t prolong your healthiness just to run this one. I love you friend and I know that, hard as it may be, you’re going to make the right decision.

    Not really sure why are bodies can’t catch up with our minds but we can be injured runners together, so there should be some comfort in that 😉 ❤

  3. I am a new reader to your blog. So sorry to hear about your injury! Please listen to what your body is telling you. There is always going to be another marathon. Take care of yourself! I know it’s hard but stay strong. Prayer helps me. Maybe a little bit of yoga or a massage. Take care! 🙂

  4. Getting sidelined by an injury is depressing and having to postpone a race is discouraging. It sounds like you have a week or so to decide but may already know the best decision for your running future. It’s a hopeful future filled with many, many runs and races. I hope you heal fast so you can run faster.

    • Thanks, Jill! I think I might need to just let myself heal. I know the marathon is still a possibility, but what I really want to do is be able to run NYC in the fall. I think rest and really fixing this injury is the priority.

  5. There will always be another marathon to run. You need to make sure that you are ‘good to go’ first. It’s hard but you know what to do.

  6. OOOOOOh Melissa…….my heart breaks for you.

    You know what’s best for you to do, so I won’t tell you what to do. I’ll just tell you what I’d done in the past:

    When I got that stress fracture when I was training for my first marathon, I was DEVASTATED….I had put so much effort into it. And I was over halfway through the training season. But I had to accept the fact that I just couldn’t do the marathon. I was crushed and depressed. So I just took off the time that it took me to heal and then added on another couple weeks after feeling completely fine– and then when I came back, I was 100% healthy and haven’t had any issues since. In fact, I came back stronger and faster. It was hard, but I convinced myself that I had the rest of my life to achieve my goals.

    Ok and let me add more more thing, which I think I may have mentioned in the past– I ALWAYS think about that photo of you at the end of your Richmond half marathon of 2011 for inspiration. I know that sounds insane, but it’s true!!

    • Thanks, Katherine! You are too sweet!!

      Your story does help. I think I do need to just get myself healthy. This isn’t a super important race. I’ll get back to it.

  7. Oh girl. I’m so sorry. I KNOW this sucks. You’re already signed up for the race, you committed, you set your heart on it, and you were feeling awesome and ready. But how about signing up for that Ann Arbor marathon in June? It will give you a couple extra months and it’s not too far off so you still have time to heal and a marathon in the near future?

  8. Sorry, girl. 😦 It seems like most of us have been there and it is never an easy decision to make. There are so many races to do, but you only have one back!! You just need some time to mend and you’ll be out there again. Besides, you’ll enjoy the experience better when you’re not in pain or worried about injuring yourself even further. Hang in there and feel better! 🙂

  9. Aw honey I’m so sorry! That has to be so disheartening. But, as much as it sucks, it would be so much better to rest and get yourself better than to hurt yourself. As you know I have depression and know how bad it can be. If you ever want to talk please know that I am here!

  10. Aww I am so sorry, that is such a difficult thing to do. I know it must suck but your body clearly needs to rest and heal. If you do train and race, it will be a longer road to recovery. There are always more races. But still, I can only imagine how bummed you are. My heart breaks for you.

    • Thanks, Mattie! I am really really bummed, but you’re right, there are more races. I just have to let go of this one and focus on getting myself better.

  11. I’m so frustrated for you!! I feel like it’s SO hard to say no to a race – but I agree that sitting this one out might be the best call. My Savannah training buddy threw out her back about 8 weeks before our race. She ran Savannah, but her hip completely gave out in the last 2 miles and she jacked herself up even more. It’s not worth it!!

    Have you gone to a chiro? I know there are some crazy chiros out there – but mine has helped me SO much. Did I already tell you this? Ha ha.

  12. I am sorry I am a bit late with reading this post Melissa! And deary, I am very sorry that you feel rather blue right now 😦 Just so you know I am so with you on the depression thing and yeah, it feels awful. And I am so frustrated for you and the race situation! As terrible as it might feel to not run, participating could make it that much worse and then really set you back even more! I am here for you, if you ever want to talk more!

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