California? Not yet.

Have you ever found yourself bending over backwards to force something to happen and then looked back and thought, “Hmmm, maybe I should have paid attention to all the signals telling me that wasn’t meant to be”?

My planned California trip could possibly be described in that way.

In any case–for good or bad, I didn’t go.

I’ve been registered for the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon for months. I’ve been looking forward to crossing California off of my list and spending time with high school classmates, Nicole and Todd.  Nicole lives in Santa Barbara and has been such a cheerleader for the running efforts of me, Todd, and the rest of the “Montana Mamas” gang. Todd and I decided to meet in Santa Barbara and run the race together and see Nicole. For Todd, this is an especially monumental race–the first half he plans to run, not just walk. I would love more than anything to be there right now, like I had planned.

Despite being bothered by a tendon injury in my foot, I decided to run the race anyway. As luck would have it, about two weeks ago I caught the worst cold or flu virus I’ve had in years. It knocked me on my butt for a full week and then turned into a sinus infection. Needless to say, my training has been non-existent during that whole time. In fact, with my foot injury and then getting sick, I really haven’t put in a decent run in weeks–only a handful of short runs since my last half about six weeks ago. To the dismay of my physical therapist, I’ve even blown off my assigned stretching and strength-building exercises over the past two weeks.

See how things have been heading downhill? Even so, I knew I could still run the race and fully planned to do so–knowing that my time would be slow, but I really didn’t care about that.

This morning I checked my standby flight (yes, I was trying to use non-revenue flight benefits to make it to this race), and today’s flights looked very iffy. Then, looking at the return flights on Saturday (which I hadn’t bothered to even check yet), I came to the sobering realization that there would be no way I could make the last flight on Saturday for sure and there would be no way for me to get back home until Sunday or later. After spending two hours in the very early morning hours searching for every possible flight combination to get home, and what it would cost me to break down and purchase tickets, my youngest kid sleepily wandered into my room and said, “Do I need to go to school today? My throat really hurts.”

That clinched it. I canceled my car reservation, removed myself from the standby list, and contacted Todd and Nicole to let them know about my change in plans. Too many things were simply adding up for me to not stop and take notice.

Right about now Todd and Nicole are getting ready to meet for dinner at a wonderful, Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara. Todd will carbo load in preparation for tomorrow’s big race, they will get to spend time catching up and reminiscing, and then tomorrow Todd will accomplish a noteworthy personal goal of his by running 13.1 beautiful miles along the Pacific Ocean.

As for me, I just split a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese with my sick kid. That was my version of carb loading in preparation for the easy, mid-distance run I plan to do first thing in the morning. As Todd takes off from the starting line in California, I will head out the door as well. And, for an hour or two I will complete my run as I keep him in my thoughts. When I return, I will log in to the race website and view his progress and race results.

Rather than exchanging congratulatory hugs at the finish line, we’ll simply have to exchange text messages and phone calls. Can’t wait for Todd’s race report.

As for me, my California race will need to be another day.




One response to this post.

  1. So sad for you Gail, but happy that you listened to your intuition!!
    Love you bunches:)


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