On Not Quitting

Don’t give yourself an out (when it matters).

That’s how I approached the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon on Sunday. Start it, and then finish it. I gave myself no other option.

I’ve quit on long Sunday runs before. But only when I had a Metropass in my pocket. I’m willing to bet that if a TTC ride wasn’t there as the backup plan, I would have sucked it up and finished that run.

That’s not to say that you should never give up. Somedays the notion of “survive to run another day” comes into play. In 2012 I DNF’ed the Whitby Marathon. There were two reasons for this:

  1. I gave myself an out in the way of Ginny and the car at the 37km mark.
  2. I had a bigger goal in mind in the form of the Niagara Ultra 50km three weeks later. The marathon didn’t matter…it was a training run.

I still waffle on whether quitting Whitby was the right thing to do or not. And maybe that’s because I decided after the fact that it didn’t matter rather than before. I started, then I decided it didn’t matter if I finished (and only when the going got tough).

Maybe it should read, “Don’t give yourself and out (when it matters). And it always matters.”