Sunday, August 14, 2016

Race Admissions & Additions

I knew this was going to be a year of light racing and no 100s, but that didn't mean I was going to just sit back and let the year go by. I still wanted to find a few interesting things to keep me going throughout the year, to help me get the fire back, which had waned in late 2015 as I struggled upon my return to running post-TARC.

But when I looked (and looked and looked) on ultrasignup to find a nearby/not too expensive/not too crazy longer race for the fall, nothing was setting off fireworks in my brain. I finally decided that the TARC Fall Classic 50 miler seemed like the best choice, and then hemmed and hawed about it for a long while before actually clicking 'register' and signing up back in May.

The thing is, though, that I have not *really* been super enthused about it. People had asked me if I'm excited for the 50 and I haven't really been able to muster up a good response. The enthusiasm was just not there, and therefore, the training really wasn't there either. I would love to be able to pull off a "fast" 50 yet and I feel like I *should* be able to, but the reality is that after Grayson, while I was putting in some decent mileage and doing some good building, my heart hadn't really been in it, I hadn't done many long runs and well, I was starting to get a bit anxious. In the end, after a bit of a battle with myself (and with Ryan) last month, I finally came to the conclusion that signing up for the 50 at the Fall Classic was really not the smartest idea. I *wanted* to want it and thought I could will myself into being excited about something I was not. What I neglected to realize was that all my hemming and hawing over signing up should have been a sign that maybe it wasn't the race I should be signing up for. Well, live and learn, and thankfully, it was easy enough to email the RD and ask him to drop me down to the 50k.

So, with the weight of the 50 off my shoulders and mind, I also pulled the trigger and signed up for the Fells 40 miler in December. I timed out there is 2014 and this race has been lurking in the back of my brain ever since. I know I can finish those five laps, d*mnit! Last year would likely have been the perfect year to race it, but I was in no condition to do so after the 100, so I guess I'll just have to do a dance and hope that the weather cooperates this year and allows me to get out onto that 5th lap and finish it up this year! Nothing like a December race to end the year in style ;)

Once I had signed myself up for the Fells, some of the training fire came back. Nothing like a bit of fear to get you going ;) I've had a few solid weeks of training and feel like I'm getting back on the right track. Looking back at the Fells in 2014, I realize I wasn't in the right mental state for that race, nor had I done quite enough 20+ milers going in. In an effort to remedy the latter portion of the puzzle, I've penciled in a number of longer runs over the next few months, and along with the Fall Classic 50k, plan to put another 50k or a trail marathon on the fall calendar too. October is chock full of good options throughout New England, so I've been poking around, trying to figure out the right one, taking into consideration Sam's birthday and a few other factors. I'm excited for the months ahead, and feel light and happy knowing I have finally come around to (mostly) putting together a fall race calendar that speaks to me and that I will be excited to complete.

In the end, sure, I could certainly have run the 50 and I probably would have done fine, but it wouldn't have been the race I envisioned and I can almost guarantee I wouldn't have been having a lot of fun, so why force it? Life is too short. Sometimes you just have to own up to the fact that you set out on a path that wasn't right for you and to admit that you need to change things. And sometimes it pays to listen to that little voice or murmur or gut reaction deep inside. It's often hard for me to wrap my head/words around what I really want and to actually put it into action, as no decision comes in a vacuum and there are almost always a lot of other factors in play other than just the race itself, but once I do, I shake my head and say, what the hell took you so long?!?! :)

P.S. I really should have added in a thank you to Ryan for talking all this through with me and helping me sort this all out. I guess when you've been together with someone for 22+ years, they truly know you almost as well as you know yourself... I am a lucky lady :)

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