Making a tough call

That's gonna be a tough call....

What’s the toughest thing about long-distance running?

Some might think it’s grinding out 20-mile training runs, or blasting 800-meter repeats around a track, or listening to road runners blather about their latest 5K jog for charity.

Yep, those are all brutal. But harder still, in my opinion, is making a tough judgment call.

For example: Should I enter that really fun relay race next month, even though it’s going to shoot my training schedule to hell?

Should I drive 45 minutes to a beautiful trail in the morning, when I’m really needed at home to get the Short People  ready for school?

Should I do an occasional long run on pavement with a friend, even when I’m training for a trail ultra?

You get the point. These issues are never black and white.

Today I made one of those tough calls.

I woke up this morning, and limped around the house. My calves were still tight and cramped from Saturday’s race. I knew I couldn’t run before breakfast. I packed a gym bag with running stuff for a possible lunchtime run. But by lunchtime, it was pouring rain, and my calves were still sore.

So what should I do? Shuffle outside in the rain, on sore legs, just to get in my miles? Or should I take another day off, even though that could be asking for trouble too? It’s tough to get going again after taking two consecutive days off.

There’s no easy answer. You just have to make an educated guess.

I took a deep breath, and decided to take another day of rest.

Was it the right call? That’s the toughest thing. You usually don’t know right away. Stay tuned.

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