So, I count on my Bad Ass B’s friends to keep me on the up and up. I count on them to say the things that need to be said, give me a break when I won’t cut myself one, pick me up when I fall and generally be a running / fitness sounding board. So yesterday my friend Barbara came to see me on her lunch. We work together and frequently have lunch together which is nice. We chatted with others and then commuted to my desk where her take on my race withdrawal surfaced. She said “so you’re quitting?”. My answer was “No, I’m not quitting, I’m stopping.” I don’t see it as quitting because my reasoning is not that I don’t want to run the race because I’m afraid because I’m not afraid of the race. I’m more concerned with running a race that I’m under trained for. I follow Hal Higdon’s training plan to a T in terms of long runs. My lungs have not allowed me to run longer than 4ish miles in 3 weeks. Currently I should be running 8 miles to training plan but physically I’m only half way there. I can’t breathe and my body is clearly giving me signs like struggling to regulate my breathing, heavy legs, absolute exhaustion after only a few miles. It’s not healed and it’s screaming at me. My theory, and I feel like it’s pretty realistic, is that if I’m undertrained even having run a dozen or so half marathons and some other shorter distances sprinkled in there, it will most likely be either a DNF or physically open me up to susceptibility to pneumonia or other such bigger challenges. The body must rest. I don’t always do the rest thing in my daily / weekly training and my B’s usually call me out for it. In fact I’ve always done something every day. I’ve gone 6 weeks without a full rest day but there’s a difference between resting my body which is strong and still able to perfom daily and resting my lungs. The inside works differently and takes a long time to heal. I’m not ok pushing my lungs just to keep up with training just to pay for it later. I need to rest, but I need to run but running right now is challenging and those challenges are putting me behind and causing me mental stress that is causing me to keep pushing when I should be resting and keeping my workouts low key. I’m taking the pressure of a race, that means nothing to me and which I’m running alone, off my mind and off my plate so I can focus on being restful and prepare for other things. There is a big difference between stopping because it’s the right thing to do for your body and allowing yourself to get better and quitting because I’m afraid or don’t want to run a race that I can easily finish. I know I can finish ut I’m choosing to bow out for the greater good. Will I be better in the next 5.5 weeks? I would venture to say most likely yes but the lungs don’t heal fast so who knows. I’m just not willing to go crazy just to run this race. i am perfectly willing to push through sore muscles, queasiness, tiredness and many other manageable issues but not when it comes to my lungs. Will I keep an open mind and see what I’m capable of, yes. I always do but in the next week or two if I can’t get caught up because I can’t do the miles right now, I won’t be running. I will never just jump in and run a race without having already run enough miles to make finishing an achievable task. Going into a race unprepared mentally and physically is just stupid. So my ultimate answer to the question of what is the difference between quitting and stopping is merely GRAY MATTER. I love my B’s and I appreciate them pushing me to be my best. Will I run? The answer right now is Maybe. If I can and if I feel that crossing the finish line isn’t too big of a compromise, yes I will. Fat Brenna would have quit because she was scared of committing to training. Afraid of working hard every day. We don’t allow Fat Brenna air time anymore because she’s stupid and SHE’S the difference between quitting and stopping.