Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Perogative

Oh Bobby...Britney never even came close to your version!
...everyone knows that it's a woman's perogative to change her mind.  Several times if need be. 

Thankfully it is no longer a 'crime' either financially or morally as it was in medieval times where the saying originates from as it pertained to engagement between a man and a woman.

As it pertains to me, and although I have called off 5 engagements in my lifetime, this particular post has nothing to do with the lot, but more of my perogative (or ours for that matter) to change your mind mid-race.

Most people, at least in the past, if they 'changed their mind' it was almost always in the form of a DNF to avoid further injury.  Or in some cases, as I know this to be true because I know some who have done it for this reason, is because...well...because they weren't going to win.  And why waste the energy?  Save it for the next race.  Or save your ego.


Clearly I am never going to win any race I enter.  And most of the people I know or run against in any race of any distance aren't going to win either.

Most running 'elitists' out there frown upon such actions, suggesting one take a DNF or switch beforehand (usually paying a fee).  And you know what, I'm no elitist but I tend to agree.  I have switched before the old fashioned way, weeks before the actual race.  I did this earlier this year for Houston Marathon 2011 which I explained in an earlier post that after Chicago 2010 and with the deterioation of my mothers condition, continuing to run long distances on Saturdays that put me down for the count, made it very hard for me to contribute to the care of her in those final months.

Another reason its not good to do this is because well, race organizers order medals and shirts and what-not based upon the numbers.  Yes they compensate for DNS's and DNF's and for switching the 'right' way long after the products have been ordered.  If there happens to be an increase in this, organizers might find themselves without product for the back of the packers.  I have seen this first hand (January 2010) and most recently apparently in Las Vegas at the RnR this past weekend however I doubt seriously that had anything to do with them running out since there were only <4000 marathoners and 40000 half marathoners.  Someone up there just fucked up and fucked up good.

Anyway, this past weekend in Dallas at White Rock Marathon, where I decided mid-race based COMPLETELY on the weather conditions and that I had not trained 6 months for this one marathon, I made the decision on the fly.

I guess I wanted to make it clear, for who I dont know, that when I finished, I went to the full marathon medal side and ASKED...if I only did the half do I take a full medal?  They told me no, go to the other side.  Same thing with the shirts.

Not gonna lie, I was happy about this.  I wanted a medal and a shirt for the distance I had done (nothing I could do about the cotton tshirt in my goodie bag), but if I had to take the others for the full I would have because I didnt want anyone that signed up for the half to not get what was coming to them.  Everyone out there suffered as much as I did and yes, there were a lot of people believe it or not that did exactly what I did.

And to my knowledge there was no shortage of medals or shirts for half marathoners.  Even when I first went to the full marathon finisher shirt line, the guy asked me "did you do the full?" (I guess he knew enough to know I hadnt finished in 3 hours) and when I told him no, but I didnt want to take a shirt from someone else, he said "we were told to send you guys to the half marathon shirt side".  I obliged.  But not before he threw me a full marathon shirt as well. 

I felt better for asking beforehand in each case.

I don't think what I did was 'wrong'.  Nor does my moral compass, running ego or the thoughts of others who may think I wimped out, bother me in the least.

My thoughts as it pertains to running and races has and is continually changing.  I was one of those people that thought everybody should play by the 'rules' 100% of the time, but sometimes life happens.  Or weather happens.  Or shit happens.

There was no way I was going to have a DNS though.  No way.  Nor would I DNF the whole race altogether unless of course I got injured along the way.  I had come all that way, and paid out some $$$ and I was going to at least start and finish something for my time and $$$.

I guess I felt somewhat better by the fact that my Coach had also emailed to me to drop to the half if the weather was bad, and well, considering who my Coach is, I figured if he was ok with me doing it, then thats all that freaking matters.



Melissa said...

I can understand. Although in SA, i'd made up my mind before the race started that I was going to downgrade. But in SA, they plan on people dropping down and adjust the medals accordingly (really don't trust RNR's answer on that). I still had to ask, because I didn't want to screw someone over later on. They assured me that wouldn't happen. I would have gladly taken a half medal in the mail, had they asked me to wait, since it wasn't what I registered for.

I think you did the right thing and approached the finish situation the way I would have. Many people don't think about the big picture or anyone other than themselves, so it's hard for them to understand caring and concern for others.

I was upset about SA, but I know I made the right choice. It tore me up before the race, but during and after, I was able to be content with the decision and no regrets.

Screw what other people think. It's your race to run, no one elses.

Sunday was a beast and you beat the beast.

Christina @ Just Running said...

Wow, I never would have thought about asking which medal and shirt to take!

I've done two halves that have run out of medals. The half marathon was the longest distance event at both races, and so people who drop down can't be blamed. I guess race officials sometimes count on too many people DNSing and DNFing.

Dropping down to a short distance seems fine to me. Race officials I'm sure expect that to happen

AMcConn said...

You need to do what's best for you, no harm in dropping down a race. Good job anyhow!!!!

TX Runner Mom said...

I think you made the right call and handled the post race well. I would have asked as well! And, now you have a good throwaway shirt if you need it! ;-)