The Time I Decided Not to Race…

I’ve been training for the Pistol 50k for the past few months.  Training went really well…I was able to complete every workout.  However, after the Memphis St. Jude Marathon in December I started having some pain in my Achilles.  It gets really tight, creaky, and pops.  I was able to run through it and hoped it would heal during my taper.  It didn’t, so I’ve decided to not race The Pistol 50k.  This is the first time I’ve ever missed a race.  This is the first time I’ve ever had a sore Achilles.  I feel like I could push through the race, but then I’d be out of commission for a while.  Instead I’m being proactive, dropping my miles, and getting some ASTYM in PT.

I’m bummed because I put in the work.  I’m bummed because I won’t get to join my friends for the race.


I’m not racing because I love to run.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to 100% a lot faster.  Mostly, I’ve just decided to trust my gut and sit this one out.  I’m taking O’s advice to just…


Also, I’m supposed to start training my Country Music Marathon pace group in a week, as well as, start my Boston training.  Upward and onward!


ASTYM.  When Leah gets into my calf, I want to jump off the table!

Calf Raises.  I raise up on the good foot and slowly lower on the bad foot.  These really hurt initially, but are getting smoother.



Foam Rolling.


I’m putting in a bunch of time on the stationary bike.


I can ride pain-free and it’s good to focus on my cross training game.



I’m doing my best to not be too melodramatic!




Have you ever had trouble with your Achilles? Advice?

Have you ever skipped a race?

What are you looking forward to this weekend? I am loving the extra time with my husband before he goes back to work next week!


Join the Conversation

  • http://twitter.com/happyfitmama Happy Fit Mama (@happyfitmama)

    This story sounds very, very familiar except insert marathon instead of 50k! At the end of September, I was at the beginning of taper for my goal marathon race in mid October. My Achilles decided to get angry and then in that same week I hurt my L5/SI. I wasn’t able to run for 5 weeks (mostly because of my back). The eccentric heel drops (with a weighted backpack) helped a ton as did Graston. I spent a lot of time on my bike too. The odd thing is that running 26.2 miles 3 weeks ago actually made it feel better than ever. So strange! Getting to the root of what caused the injury is very important. Achilles tendinopathy is usually chronic if the cause isn’t addressed. Best of luck to you! If you have any more questions, feel free to email me.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much for your advice and im sorry youve had to deal with this, too. I have two pt sessions booked this week. They think my injury is just from over use. Hopefully this rest will help:)

  • Dodie

    Thank you for writing this! I raced injured this past fall and it ruined my love for running. As I begin training for the Puttsburgh Marathon by biggest goal is to run smart. Take a rest day if I’m not feeling 100%. I know how hard this must be for you to sit out your race and I feel your pain.
    I had a tweaked Achilles last spring and calve raises helped me the most. I still do them to this day!
    I hope you recover quickly for the Country Music marathon ( it was my first ☺️) and Boston!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much for your encouragement!! Those calf raise hurt like crazy, but theyre starting to get a little easier. Good luck training for Pittsburgh!

  • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

    Jen, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself, since I’m not running a bunch of miles today; your situation is much different, but I feel like I can relate a little. I sat out a race once because, like you, I wanted to minimize the amount of time that I’d be “down” in the long run; it’s a tough decision and it sucks. I really just kept thinking about the amount of time I would NOT be able to run and realized that running the race would likely prolong that time. After a few weeks, I was back to normal and VERY thankful that I made that decision. Great job with your PT and cross-training; I’m cheering for you and sending lots of hugs. xxxx

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Im just trying to focus on the big picture…thanks so much!!

      • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

        You’re doing great!!

  • http://trillsanddrills.wordpress.com jennidill

    That sounds like a really clever decision. I think listening to your body and knowing when and when not to push your self is such an important part of developing as a runner if you want to be in it for the long run ( no pun intended). I was supposed to run my first half marathon this New Years eve, and I have been looking forward to it for a long long time. But I had a really bad chest cold which was affecting my breathing and I spent two whole days trying to talk myself into racing even though I knew it was a bad idea. In the end I came to my senses and went for an easy run instead, and I am actually proud of my self for not running.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Isnt it funny that we feel proud of ourselves for not running?!! And, thank you:)

  • suzysuzyheather

    Hey Jen! So this is more of a trick to treat the symptom and not necessarily to fix the problem, but when I’ve had achilles problems, my PT told me to put gel heel pads into my running shoes. Not the contoured heel pads but the flat, gel ones. What that does is shortens the tendon just enough to relieve some of the stretching/pulling pressure. We’re not supposed to keep the heel pads in forever as they will obviously eventually shorten the tendon, but rather just for temporary use while we’re healing the achilles. I know it really saved me! It allowed me to keep running a bit so as to not lose too much fitness. Hope that helps. :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thats such a good tip…thank you!!!

  • http://leerunsdistances.wordpress.com FLRunnerBoy

    Awwww poo!!! :'( Jen I’m so sorry to hear I’ve pulled out of one race before due injury (major PF issues that took 3 months to recover from) so no worries you are not alone I haven’t suffered with Achilles issues however my right Achilles and hamstring are the weak spots on my body despite all I do they are always tighter than my left side and never completely release. You seem to have a good plan in place. Wishing you a speedy recovery and you can count on the fact that I’ll run some miles for you. But even with that the roads will miss you.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks so much!!!

  • http://leerunsdistances.wordpress.com FLRunnerBoy

    And the bike and the weight room have been my besties during my current injury recovery

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Ive logged more gym hours in the last week than i did in the last 6 months!

  • http://www.ksrunner.com Sarah @ KS Runner

    I’ve had to miss races before and pulling out of a race is never fun, but you are making a good decision that will help you in the long run. I hope it heals fast for you and you can get back to training for your other upcoming races!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!! :)

  • Kelly

    I think you are making the right choice. I took myself out of a marathon at the half way point in Nov. ….the hardest but, best choice I ever made. Its the smart hard choices that truly make us stronger. My massage therapist has me holding stretches for only two or three seconds multiple times instead of longer ones….something to try. Working great on my high hamstring.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I think i need to make a massage appointment!

  • http://www.foxrunsfast.com foxrunsfast

    So sorry to hear you will miss the race – BUT it sounds like you are making the best decision for your body and that’s so important if you want to be able to continue to run for a long while! I know it stinks right now but there will be other races in your future! Plus, the rough times and races missed due to injury make us really appreciate the good ones where we are healthy and running strong. Life is a little sweeter for the struggle. :) Heal quickly so you can get back out there!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Ive never been out of commission from an injury so this is a good learning lesson for me. I will be so happy to run pain free!!

  • thesimplepeach

    You are a smart cookie! Don’t feel bad for taking some time to get your body back together before tackling everything head on. It’s better to take the time now then push yourself further and make everything worse later on.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thats what im hoping for…fingers crossed it will work that way!

  • http://eatrunlivehappy.com KickAshMom

    I hope you feel better soon! I couldn’t imagine putting in all the work and getting hurt before a run. But as you know it’s important to listen to your body.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks so much!! :)

  • http://laurainlou.wordpress.com lmicklich

    I’ve never had to skip a race, but in 2013 I didn’t get to run a half marathon that is very close to my heart. I had a hamstring injury that kept me from running for two months…anyway, I decided to walk/jog the race anyway. I guess that’s not really an option for a 50K though! I think you made the right call, especially with Boston in sight!

  • http://eathostrunstyle.blogspot.com Sun

    It’s so hard to make the decision to not race but it sounds like in this case you made the right choice. Smart to allow your body to heal up rather than push it through a tough race. I’m sure you’ll be back running 100 percent before you know it :)

    Pacing the Country Music Marathon sounds like fun! That race has been on my bucket list for awhile!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I really hope this speeds my recovery!