Knowing My Limits

Knowing My Limits

Right about now, I should be basking in the sweaty glow of having completed a really tough, really hilly 7-mile race. Instead, I’m at home, still in my pajamas, trying not to feel guilty about it.

I signed up for this race a couple of months ago and tested out the course with a couple of friends last Saturday, fully intending to run it today. But that was before coming down with a head cold that has plagued me all week. I feel much better than I did earlier in the week, but I’m still a bit congested and just not feeling my best. I probably could have pushed through and done the race, but after much internal debating I decided to give my body a break and sleep in.

It was tough telling myself “No”. It’s tough to look at that unused racing bib. This was only the second race that I’d registered for and not done; the first time I skipped a race on a day when storms were forecast (and of course the rain held off until after the race).

I know that, in the long run, this was the best decision for myself, so that my body could continue to recover and get back to 100%. I’ve got a trip coming up next weekend and definitely don’t want to be sick for it. After my trip I’ll need to stay healthy for training for my next race, which is a half-marathon in March. I have several reasons why I need to make my health a priority today, but I still feel some angst over not racing today. I think it’s because I had committed to running the race, so I feel some guilt over not being able to follow through on my commitment, silly as that may sound.

Do you struggle with knowing when to push yourself and knowing when to say when? Why do you think it’s so hard for us to not only know our own limits but to also take good care of ourselves sometimes? Am I the only one who feels a little guilty when something–illness, work, life in general–prevents me from following through with a well-intentioned commitment?





2 thoughts on “Knowing My Limits

  1. That sort of thing used to drive me nuts (you got it honest), but being on the planet this long has taught me to look more at the big picture. The “good cause” got your entry fee, so they were not out anything. The main point of these races for you is to improve overall health and wellbeing, so logic dictates knowing when to rest. Once I realized that some commitments were really made to myself more than anyone else, I gave myself permission to modify or break them. You did the right thing to stay home.


    1. Bravo, Lisa, on listening to your body! We don’t do that enough. And besides, you’re running an even more important race (Heb 12:1, 2Tim 4:7) in life right now and the reward will be even better than a bumper sticker! 😉


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