A Change of Plans

In the final stretch of the 2015 LA Marathon on my way to a National Championship title.

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

― Louisa May Alcott

The other day I warmed up for a workout along the ocean with my usual out and back run. I reached the turn around and realized I was fighting back tears. Since a crash and burn in Chicago, I had been working myself back into good shape, but there has been something missing. I know what it takes to train like you are going to make the Olympic Team. It’s an intense, stubborn, relentless almost euphoric drive that seems to encompass every aspect of your life and everyones’ around you. I’ve been so excited for the 2016 Trials for so long, but on this workout day, I think my mind finally realized that I would not have time to be ready physically and mentally to be able to give it everything I had.

So, I drove home and cried in my husband’s arms as he was telling me, “You’ve been going hard since Liv was born. You’re not superhuman.” The reality is I don’t want to race when I know I am not ready, and as tough as a decision it was, it was the the right one. I love the sport and respect my competitors too much to toe the line when it’s not feeling right. I still plan on competing and can still do workouts I could do in my 20’s- even better, but it’s time for a short break. It’s time to re-evaluate what I want out of my running. Next up, a much needed hernia surgery and some time to just run with no major goals in site other than getting fit and loving every step of the way.

Embrace the journey, live hard, love deeply, dare all. You will always succeed if you do. Cheers! -Blake

straight is boring





Blake Russell

Runner, Wife and Mom. Enjoying where the running world has taking me and looking forward to the journey.

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10 Responses

  1. George Penn MD says:

    Let me know when you have the hernia repair. I’ll come visit you. George(Penn MD)

  2. John Phillips says:

    Loved your article!


  3. Joan says:

    I know exactly where you are at this particular fork in the road, Blake. Running will continue to bless you in brand new ways. Enjoy every step!

  4. jgvanallen says:

    It takes so much courage to be this honest with yourself, and to make this kind of decision when there are so many strong forces that could convince you otherwise. But you will never go wrong when you trust that quiet inner voice that keeps tugging at you. Though you have gently shut this particular door, making the decision to attend to what your body, mind, and heart are crying for will deliver many happy, healthy days on the long road ahead. There will always be opportunities to test yourself. But you only get one chance to give your body and soul the time to recover, repair, and heal. Go You!

  5. My heart and thoughts are with you…. A tough decision and I can’t imagine your pain……………but I’m sure your not done yet! Kevin.

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