With a little bit of hesitation, I am putting it out there — I have many reasons to LOVE not ultra training right now. And, don’t take this the wrong way – I am still training, but I am training with no race in mind, I am training for the pure love of training and on some days, I say, hey – today I am not training.
If I tried to recap the last months of training, it would certainly be a lot of words. And, the words probably wouldn’t even begin to do the experience justice, so I will just sum it up like this:
[Remember, this is inclusive of steps taken from Spring 2015 to present with 4 -5 ultra experiences thrown in the mix. If I had a FitBit tracking my steps, well the number is probably close to a bijillion – and, that’s a lot J.]
Dear Diary, It was a long couple months of awesomely brutal miles [and, building muscles – all of them]. It was days of experience, learning, smiles and tears. It was a time period to find what you are capable of. XO, Me.
So, over the last year, I have put in the training [a lot of training], I trusted the training [even more important than the training itself], and I followed heart. I raced my heart out on a handful of occasions. At times, raceday came with podium finishes, at others it didn’t come with a finish at all. But, every time, I learned, and I experienced and I became a better person. And, then I trained some more. A week or two of recovery and I was back on schedule again.
And, I did this, while a lot of life was happening.
So, why am I loving not ultra running training…?
Well, it’s really a simple equation. When I put ego aside, and let go ofthe this is what I am supposed to do because all of the Square World knows that this is what I do notion [you have to say that in one breath], I am still left with one thing –
I love trail running.
When I was finishing up training for 88k I was starting to not love trail running or sweating, or making time for workout 1 and 2 [when the to do list was out of control]. Running was becoming a chore, work, give up this or that to fit the miles in. And, it was even mentally draining. The motivation was gone, but the commitment was there.
This is where I draw the line. This is why I chose to listen.
Training is supposed to be fun. It has to be enough without being everything. And, for awhile…it felt like EVERYTHING [and, then some more].
I love trail running. I love trail running as a therapy session. I love trail running in the sunshine [and not in the cold sleet, rain, and snow]. I love trail running for the people and community. I love the sweat and fresh air, and even the mud. I love trail running for the sound of those running footsteps.
And, when I stopped loving it. Well, I was determined to figure out the why and fix it.
I’m fixing it. I’m bringing the motivation back. The sweat with a smile.
My plan: Train consistently and throw some fun [ok, a lot of FUN] into the mix. You will see some pilates, visits to classes in the area that I have been meaning to get to, time on a paddle board [hopefully] or spending some hours soaking up the sunshine with family. The HIIT workouts will be back, the sweat will be pouring off, I will be running alongside Jesse again [finally!], the workouts will be simple and effective, and my body and brain will start to be happy.
This is why I love not ultra training:
I have time to set my [our] race intentions for 2017. [Yes, it was really hard to not immediately sign up for another race.]
I do not have to be in attendance quite so frequently at that beautiful purple gym.
I can run as many miles as I wish. I can run to chase the sunrise or sunset. Or both.
I have extra hours to focus more on work passion and launching business.
I put more family time back on the calendar. We hike, adventure and explore [and, this doesn’t have to come after waking up bright and early to fit the long run in].
I read books, sleep in [you know, until 5:00 AM], and take the dogs with me on my run, not their run.
I can find happy running again.
I know I am going to be prepared for the next ultra running adventure, even with a less drill sergeant like plan for a few months.
I can train for life. Not raceday.
Because, the ultra running world is one of my favorites. And, it will be back on the calendar for 2017. Truthfully, I already can’t wait. But, for now, I’m soaking up the “downtime” and learning to love running again. Because for me, it’s about running with heart and when I only run with my legs – well, that’s just not the same.0