At the end of 2016, I built my training and racing plans for the first half of 2017 around the Gold Coast Marathon. I have a desire to run the fastest marathon I can. This goal requires years of consistent effort and action. The Gold Coast Marathon is a fast course, and has a deep field; two elements that I believe are crucial to running the fastest marathon I am capable of.
So the natural question is: How did I get on? I made the difficult decision a couple of weeks ago not to start the event.
My attempt to fry my brain, and destroy my body (not mutually exclusive) at the Oceania Trail Championships really knocked me around. As a result, over the last six weeks I have had a number of small challenges. Nothing serious, though significant enough that with each, I have opted to take a couple of days off training.
Could I have run through the challenges at today's marathon? Yes, absolutely. Though with my body in a sub-optimal state, it is highly likely that I would have crossed the line in an even less optimal state. I hypothesise that the severity of challenges would intensify and that I probably could have written off the rest of 2017.
But what about the time, energy, and money you invested in the Gold Coast Marathon? Yep, it sucks, but destroying the one body I have would have sucked even more.
I pride myself on looking after my body, and possibly/probably not mutually exclusively (there's that term again) I have not had anything more than a slight niggle for very long time.
The decision not to race was, and always will be, a difficult one; though I would expect any athlete that I coach to have made the same decision.
Putting things into perspective, at the beginning of the year, if you had offered me the opportunity to run in a New Zealand singlet at the Oceania Trail Championships or run the Gold Coast Marathon, I'd have picked the New Zealand singlet every day of the week.