Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No pressure

Well it's been awhile. I haven't been feeling much like posting anything. Sort of how I felt about running after pacing Lalo at Angeles. Actually I didn't feel much like running before that. After my run out in Colorado at the beginning of summer I fell into a funk. I started to question all this running and what I want to do. What next? I have run in many different places and have met many great people. Experienced runs where I felt great and others where I wish I'd stayed home. The experience with Lalo at Angeles crest was another I will always remember. And confirmed my thoughts that the best running experiences are those run with friends especially when a friend requests your presence. To be chosen to be with them when they are attempting a feat like an ultra is the most satisfying of all runs. Since that experience my running experiences have been up and down. No consistency.
I  have not been excited about running. As stated earlier, I have been wondering if running long distances is necessary. For me. In the black of my mind for a long time has been the thought of the damage I have done to my body. I know, I've said this many times before. Then I go out and run an ultra and think it was wonderful. 
I have been fortunate to not have suffered too serious an injury up to now. Not running anyway. I did break my elbow in a bicycling crash in 1994 and dislocated my ankle sliding into third base in 1996 but running its only been the standard plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, and lately my piriformis muscle seizing up on me. But what's going on or has gone on inside? I have to face it, I am growing old. I'll hit the double nickle at the end of the year. I know, there are many senior athletes older than me running ultras and doing triathlons but they are stronger than me. Or want to be stronger than me. Maybe I have not done any damage to myself but I don't know that.  My chronic eczema has really flared up this year. Is that because I'm running my immune system low? Sure I can eat better or fill up with more antioxidant foods but how much is too much of that? Or too little? Eating well has been something I've payed close attention to for many years now. Have I been eating too many healthy foods in hopes of keeping up with my sometimes grueling training regimens or not? This morning as I was rummaging around the kitchen pantry looking for a bag to carry my iPad and phones to jury duty I noticed one of my packs I used as a drop bag at an ultra a few years ago. My first thought at seeing that pack was, "it's too much trouble trying to figure out a fueling plan for an ultra."  I never did get it right. And I don't want to keep trying. I just want to run to have fun. 
So, I have made up my mind to not plan anymore ultras. Notice I said "plan." I will not say I will never again run an ultra but I will not pressure myself to have to run an ultra. And if I do ever run an ultra it will be no more than a 50 miler. OK, MAYBE a 100k. In the meantime I will enjoy training runs with my friends, share my running experiences with who ever asks and run races I have wanted to run like the Carrabbas half marathon I ran this past summer. And the Dallas Marathon I have wanted to run for years because it falls on my birthday weekend and my brother lives in the Dallas Area. Up next though is the Cactus Rose 100 mile relay. Team of four-25 miles each. Then Dallas and hopefully Boston in April of 2014 (I am registered but won't know if I'm in until Friday).  In between these I'll throw in some shorter races and have fun volunteering at the Bandera 100k in January 2014.
Now I'm excited about running again!

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