A slight change in plans

4 Sep

Guys, I can’t run.
No. Not true. But for the past few months, I have not wanted to run, which in some ways is worse. Watching Eric sit on the couch miserable for not being able to run reminds me of that every day. I have been given a gift to be able to run, and I’ve been squandering it. 
I have no idea why. I have a lot of theories. Perhaps the best one is just plain overtraining. For over a year, I’ve been hammering miles…more miles than ever before. In the course of the past year, I’ve raced 2 50 mile races, 2 50k races, and a marathon 6 hour effort. And to run that many distance races, there have been a LOT of training miles. 
And all those miles have been tough but fun, painful but illuminating, challenging but awesome. 
But I think I am just tired. When I reflect on my excuses for skipping runs, at the bottom of all of it, I see a girl who just doesn’t care enough right now to get out of bed early (or when it’s hot, or when there’s a cooler option) to go run. 
And that’s ok. My libra brain tells me balance needs to be restored in my running. 
This summer, the runs that have felt good have been the “different” ones–ones in new places, or workouts on the track, or my run yesterday…the fastest run I’ve had in probably 2 years…and it wasn’t even “that” fast (which is silly to say bc fast is all relative anyway). 
I  registered for a small 50k last spring, thinking I would train hard all summer and go win it. But the truth is that I am not interested in running it, not even “just for fun.” And so I’m going to DNS, a decision I’ve been kicking around and have decided to put into writing in public so that people hold me accountable and so that I can get over feeling like a complete failure for this choice. 
This fall, I’m going to focus on some speed work and shorter stuff. Normally, I hate both of those things–Ive always said I would rather spend 4 hours at a relaxed pace in the woods than 30 minutes on the track wanting to puke. But right now, shorter and faster sounds more doable (and yes that’s what she said haha). This should leave me some time for cool things like cross training (I want to start seriously lifting again and get back on my bike, especially since we are going to be living very close to some new shorter trails!) and also house projects when we move (I will be so glad when all the house drama is done and we can settle back in). 
I’m not done with ultras.  I still love them, I just know that my body has been asking for a break, and I need to start listening rather than trying to force it.  I figure the fast training will be a nice break, I can go into the winter ready to build base (it’s all about that base) and then decide what I want my spring/summer to look like from there. 
It’s weird because over the past year I feel like I’ve let my identity really morph into ultra-runner. So to think I’m going to break from ultras for a bit is a little disconcerting, like I’m having an identity crisis or something. But the truth is that I don’t want to confine myself to just one type of running–I am Shme, and I am a runner. And I am excited for what my running future holds, whether that’s more races, never running another race again, doing lots more ultras or sticking to shorter distances.  Because ultimately it doesn’t matter what I’m running, as long as I’m out there.

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