Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

I knew it immediately. Any runner who’s ever suffered from ITBS can recognize the symptoms right away. Slight pain at the side of the knee- not totally excruciating, but it pings with each stride. At first signs, I should have stopped. But I didn’t. I ran on Monday…I ran on Tuesday…danced on Wednesday… ran on Thursday. I was Drew Barrymore in Scream. Didn’t matter how many times you yelled at that screen; I was running up those stairs regardless.

Just days ago, I wrote about the importance of rest. I spent paragraphs touting the phrase “less is more.” Little did I know that I would find myself in need of this reminder. But when you, yourself, are faced with a potentially devastating injury, it’s difficult to see that silver lining when you are blinded by panic and disappointment.

This past Saturday, I should have run 17 miles. I MIGHT have completed it had I not made a monumental error in judgment. I liken this error to the purchase of a scratch ticket. You think, “it’s only $5,” until you scratch it, find out it’s a loser and then wish you’d kept the 5 bucks in your wallet. Instead of money, I was spending mileage frivolously during the week, overcompensating for a long run missed during the blizzard.

I admit it. My nerves got the best of me. I thought about my missed long run and panicked. I chose to do MORE. And I paid the price.

Now, perhaps my horror movie analogy is slightly melodramatic. Unlike Ms. Barrymore, I did not meet my doom at the hands of a masked psycho. Mine is a lesson that can be learned and corrected, thankfully. But now, I am on full-blown damage control until Marathon Monday and I am not completely sure how this is all going to play out.

That time goal of mine? I’ll probably have to forgo that now. And those painful memories of running with injury last year? They are extremely frightening. But one thing is certain: I am NO QUITTER. I will not give up and I will not let negative thoughts overtake my desire to succeed. The key is to be smart from this day forward. Sometimes the right decision is the toughest to make- but I have the greatest hope that I will pull through this minor set back.

I can do this. And I will.