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My 2016 running has not gone according to the plan that I drew up at the beginning of the year. I was hoping to build upon my successes and failures from 2015 and ultimately get myself to Run Rabbit Run in September with a decent chance of completing the course.

Unfortunately, a spate of illnesses and injuries over the past six months (and the death of a family pet) meant I was never able to get into a groove with my running. And given that I’ve been trying to resolve my current injury for about three weeks, I did what I feared I’d have to do…. I pulled the plug on all the remaining races I’d signed up for in 2016 — including Run Rabbit Run.

I felt an unfamiliar mix of relief and disappointment as I sent out the withdrawal emails to the RDs. I thought back to a scene in Season 5 of Mad Men, after Don Draper fires Lane Pryce, and Lane gets up to leave Don’s office. Lane says that he feels lightheaded, and Don reassures him by responding “That’s relief. I’ve started over a lot…. This is the worst part.”

Having made the decision to start over, my mood has already improved dramatically. I’m free to focus on getting better, rather than focusing on getting better quickly. I can run as my body allows, without trying to figure out what I MUST do in order to prepare for a race. Having the constant worry over whether I’ll be in “good enough” condition on race day was a major net negative on my quality of life, and now it’s gone.

Is there a chance that my current setback will resolve itself tomorrow, and that I might regret cancelling my plans so early?

I don’t think so. Even if I could resume full-on training in the next day or two, I’ve already missed so much time on my feet. At this point, there definitely isn’t enough hay in the barn, and there isn’t any way for me to make up the deficit.