I came to Eugene knowing that my fitness was the best it’s ever been but that my Achilles that flared up after my last long run was not yet 100%. I knew it was risky, I questioned it multiple times but I also knew that it felt fine during my runs over the last week and a half. 8 miles isn’t 26.2 but there is only so much you can do when it flares up 2 weeks before race day. Sitting this out because “I’m not sure if it’ll hold up” just didn’t feel right. I didn’t bust my butt for 3 months to just sit it out in fear. That being said, my health is the most important thing and jeopardizing summer running was not something I was willing to do. So I committed to race for a 3:03-3:05 but would not push through pain to get it. The first 9 miles were going well. I was going a bit too fast so I was getting a little frustrated with myself. At 9.5 I felt this intense burn in my Achilles. Panic set it in. I literally called my coach while running to tell him I was thinking about dropping. I decided to run to the point where the half and full split and then make a decision. As I was approaching the split @ mile 12, things were feeling OK and I knew that if I chose the half, the decision would be sealed and I wasn’t ready for that so I went with the full. Shortly after that, the burn was back and was strong. With 13 miles still to go and feeling like my future spring/summer running was slipping away with each step, I made the call to step off the course. It sucks. There is no better way to say it. Lots of emotions and questioning my decision. Why didn’t I go with my gut? Why did I think it would hold up for that long? Why didn’t I just drop to the half and get a nice medal and a feeling of accomplishment? Alll the whys. I can’t answer them so all I can do is remind myself that the marathon is my favorite distance because you learn something about yourself every time you race. This sport is a craft that you just keep tweaking so you can better yourself each time. But success it’s not linear. All I can do is learn from this so that I can come back stronger.