To say that training for the Derry 16-Miler has not gone according to plan is an understatement. From a torn calf muscle to injured knees (and a fast-setting sun), I expected to be at 16 miles by the end of November. Instead, I've yet to even run the full 13.1 miles since my last half-marathon. I got to 10 miles twice -- once before my injury and once after -- and that's about it. I have barely a month to train up and additional 6 miles -- aka an extra hour of running.
Yesterday was just not a good day for running. The temperature that morning was -6*F, reaching up to a whooping 5*F by the afternoon. A storm was approaching. I was already a day behind in my schedule running, and it was starting to look like yesterday would not be a running day, either. I factored in my lack of training, my shortened runs due to the weather/setting sun, and the fact that I would be gone for a week for Christmas. I decided that it was time to admit defeat and pull out of the race.
I go on the website, and in big bold letters I see: NO REFUNDS FOR ENTRY FEE.
Well, now. That was enough to force me to prep up, lace up, and run.
I decided then that, no matter what, I was going to participate in that race. Maybe I'd have to bow out halfway through. Maybe I'd be the very last person to cross the finish line. But, regardless, I'm going to do it.
It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from The Ultimate Fighter. The idea that "failure in not an option" is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. It's the most readily available option. But you have to make a choice: do you work hard or do you give up. Do you go down path A or path B.
So I might be on my hands and knees, crawling across the finish line come January, but, dammit, I'm going to do it. Because failure is always an option and I refuse to give up.