Great Illini Challenge – CANCELLED

Yesterday, I should have been TRIing my heart out in Mattoon, IL at the Great Illini Challenge.  Earlier in the week I had decided to drop down to the Olympic distance race so that I could finish something this season and try to end on a positive note amidst a summer of injury and rehab…….. but as the weekend approached, I was doubting my decision.  I was questioning whether I would be disappointed that I didn’t do as much as I could do, that I didn’t do as much as I had trained for all summer long.  I contemplated racing the 70.3 distance up to the last lap of the run where I would have needed to step off the course and take another DNF. 

In my heart,  I knew I would be disappointed either way so I really couldn’t decide which dose of disappointment would be best.  I was undecided right into Friday morning when I got the email that the race was cancelled due the possibility of inclement weather in the area from Hurricane Isaac.  Cancelled.  I know I was supposed to be disappointed but I laughed.  It was the absolute perfect end to my season.  I just giggled thinking about the Ironman 70.3 Muncie in July being reduced to an Olympic type distance race and my not even being able to do the full bike/swim there and having to take a DNF without even running one step.  Then I hung all my hopes on this race only to realize one week prior that my foot was not healed up enough and I wouldn’t be able to complete the run and would need to take another DNF.  I was all done with disappointment and relieved not to be worrying about it anymore.  So I’m done TRIing for this year and look forward to hanging up the 3 sport genre for a while and just relax and focus on healing and increasing my speed on the short distance run. 

So instead of spending 3-5 hours on the swim/bike/run on Saturday morning, I instead hit the road with Aby for a few miles.


She, of course, bitched the entire time enjoyed spending some quality time with her momma.  She even tolerated my photo requests.


Aby and I running together is very difficult but I hope that we will eventually look back at these years and laugh.  Of course, that may be many years from now but I know that at some point in her life she will actually appreciate the fact that I could actually get out there and hit the road with her and push her pace past the comfort zone.  Maybe, like when she has her first child, we will laugh about these years, right?

So although, the weekend wasn’t what I had planned, it was still good.  No, it was great!  And tomorrow, I’ll hit the trail at the Turtle 10 and run 6 miles of their 10 mile event.  Yes, another DNF although, not such a big deal at this laid back event.  Why are all the good runs/races so long?  The bottom line for me, I race to keep myself motivated and my mind focused on fitness.  It doesn’t really matter if the race happens or not but if I keep moving over the prescribed period of time “because” I want to be my best on race day, then the purpose of the goal has been accomplished regardless of the finish time or the cancellation of the event.  This is about health & fitness for me, not race results.  I hope I can always keep my eye on the ultimate prize…….fitness……and not lose sight of my priorities amongst fancy finisher gifts, age group awards and results.

** Fitness First ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

10 thoughts on “Great Illini Challenge – CANCELLED

  1. Wow, I’m so surprised that they cancelled the race. Has the weather been crazy up there? I think we had a little rain (in northern AL), but it wasn’t really as bad as I would have thought. Glad the cancellation helped make peace with the racing season. Injuries are so frustrating all the way around, in life and in racing. You have a great attitude through it all!

    • As I understand it, there was rain but nothing like what was predicted. I didn’t stalk the weather for that area, in fact I was about 6 hours away from the race location so can’t say for sure but I believe it may not have been that bad b/c we went from a 50% credit for the 2013 race to a full credit.

      I do wonder what they will do with all the pre-purchaced stuff, goodie bags, finisher medals, etc?

  2. It is definitely hard to always remember the “prize” is fitness. Sometimes, I forget and think everyone can do this – I am not special. But not everyone puts the effort into doing this so we do deserve a pat on the back and a high five! Fitness is the prize! I also think your daughter enjoys it now! 🙂

  3. You running with your daughter reminds me of my husband trying to train with me. Plenty of b**tchin the whole way by me, but we look back now and laugh and remember the good times. Here’s to healing!

  4. Irony….all that worrying about that tri-event and it gets cancelled anyways! Get it….irony? LOL

    Well…I was a DNF at 10 for 2nd year in a row! But…if you ran the first out-n-back like I always do, you ran the toughest part of that course that goes through the hills….2.81-mi out to parking lot at Schoolhouse Rd access….5.62-miles back to the start point. That was tough trying to hold a fast pace in those hills and after first 2-miles had to tail-it back some to keep it more comfortable. In the aftermath of a 100-mile training week including 20-miler on Saturday and 10-miler on Sunday…just doesn’t make sense to run that hard on Labor Day.

    Turtle 10 is a pretty nice layout and I could easily modify it by extending the East out-n-back to 116th and maybe a finish line in different location at parking lot and give you a marathon distance course. But is there anyone that would want to run a marathon that includes two full loops and then a 3rd loop through the woods….3 times out and back through those hills? That would be one tough marathon!

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