"To race or not to race" -- This is the question

After my 6-mile walk on Wednesday, I noticed that the center ball of my right foot was sore. Well it turns out I developed a small blister there! My first thought was, "Seriously? 4 Days from my race? 2 Weeks from the IL Half?" I was not a happy camper! I mean, it isn't very big but it still hurt and made me alter my gait throughout that day. I am pretty sure the reason for the blister is because of the new pair of Brooks shoes I was wearing (I bought them two weeks ago).

So of course I went online to find out what I could on blister treatments and prevention, as well as read up on it in an e-book called "Fixing Your Feet" (which is an awesome book and I highly recommend it). Everyone thought I should lance it to remove the fluid (which was clear not cloudy or bloody), and then use an antibiotic cream and cover with some kind of blister patch (there are several out there).

Well, I did not want to lance (puncture) it (yeah, call me a wuss) because it wasn't really protruding out, it was pretty flattened and it hadn't burst or anything. SO I figured I would just cover it with a blister patch and hope the fluid would be reabsorbed in time for my race on Sunday.

It was getting better so I figured I would test it out on a run with my friend Megan this afternoon on a 6-mile run. I sprayed on some 2nd Skin, put a patch over it, and headed out. The first 4 miles were perfect. Then I could tell that the patch had moved and I could feel the difference. But it wasn't too bad, and since I hadn't brought another one to apply, I just kept going.

The run was a success (running with Megan was a joy and it was good to get caught up on her life), but afterwards the blister was irritated again. So I ended up lancing it, draining it, applying the cream, and covering it up. It feels way better now. Tomorrow is a Rest Day so that gives me 36 hours of healing time before I have to make the 'race day' decision.

So the big question will be: "To race or not to race this Sunday?" I have only logged one "DNS" (Did Not Start) in my short, 1-year, 15-race running career. That was last September when I could not run the Chicago Half Marathon/5K (I was signed up for the 5K) because it conflicted with the beginning of my church's Christian Education program (I had signed up for the race before being approached to teach).

If my foot is not feeling ready on Sunday morning, then I won't run. There is no reason to run 'hurt' for a 10K race, especially when there is a Half Marathon coming up in two weeks. Let's get real here: the IL Half Marathon is way more important to me than this 10K.

I signed up for the 10K because it is a very hilly route (I hate hills) and I thought it would be good to have the experience of running on that kind of course. So if I can run it, I would like to do so. Besides, I hate the idea of adding a second DNS to my running history.

So what should I do, folks? Should I bail out on the race, regardless of how the foot feels on Sunday so that I can ensure being fully healthy for the IL Half on April 28th? Or, run the 10K race (assuming the foot is doing well)? Respond here, and let me know your thoughts.

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