Sunday, August 23, 2015

A promise to myself: I never "have" to run again.

You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing.
You don't have to try.
Colbie Caillet

The 5:00 alarm sounds and I hit the snooze three times.  I want nothing more than to sleep in, but I get up because I "have" to run ten miles today, and I promised my daughter I would be home before she woke up.  
There is no questioning whether or not I will go,  I've "had" to run at least 10 miles every Sunday for the past 12 years. 

Having a hard time getting going, I have my little toast and some cinnamon coffee and sit down with a magazine. 

The first article I start to read is about balance.  Looks like it might be a good one, but I'll catch it later, because I "have" to go run.  

Stepping outside the humidity hits me like a wave of nausea and I decide to walk for a bit.  My body, from my neck to my hamstrings is sore from yesterdays workout.  I'm grouchy because all I want to do is have a second cup of coffee, chill on the couch and write.  And then it hit me- so why the hell am I not doing that?  A slow morning is what I've been craving for weeks!  And I turned around and walked home.  

Training is such a tricky balance.  

When we work hard and see success, we think that more is always better. We fight ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We become moody, irritable and tired, as we catalyze deconstructive effects on our body. Why do we do this to ourselves?  Any kind of stress, be it physical, mental or emotional produces hormones and neurochemicals that create inflammation and supress our immune system.  
We are not helping ourselves here people!

So, I vow that I never "have" to workout again. 

 I will train because I want to be successful for an upcoming event, but I will not stress on the off season.  
(And I will have an off season).
I will workout with you because it is fun to get stronger together. 
I will run trails because that is where I feel most free.
I will swim because it creates balance in my life.  
I'll bike with the group that helps build camaraderie and friendship.
I will walk when I need to. 

But today, I will eat banana pancakes with my daughter. 


Friday, August 7, 2015

Nothing to prove

"I'm good enough.
I'm smart enough.
And doggone it, people like me!" 
Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley

I'm going into this post knowing that my writing may be a bit controversial.....but I'm willing to go there, based on the fact that I can't get this off of my mind for the past few days.

After a few grouchy 15 milers in the heat, I decided last week that running the 100 miler at Big Cedar (and training for it right now in 107 degree temps) was not going to make me happy.
I was not upset about it at all.  As a matter of fact I knew that dropping to the 50K was going to be smarter right now on the path building to my big goal of Leadville next summer.  The only reason I signed up in the first place was because I had a moment of insanity when the Ironman was over.
I simply didn't know what to do with myself, so I decided "Hey- what the heck?  I'll just go run 100 miles."

The first rule of ultra running is to respect the distance.  I knew that I wasn't doing that, trying to run this race with such a short amount of training; so I hired a coach who will help push me out of my leisurely zone 1 runs and I hope to really kick ass at the 50K distance on this trail that I love.  

When I posted this "announcement" on Facebook- a good friend commented that "The only person runners have to prove anything to is themselves."
Whoa.  That got me thinking.
Have I been trying to prove something to myself or others over the past few years?  Proving that I'm good enough?  Proving that I am worthy?
The truth is- maybe in the beginning, yes.  I used to be horrible at comparing myself to others, especially in the years that I was trying to qualify for Boston.  I had the nerve to think that "everyone was watching me."
Ha!  How egotistical is that?  The truth is, everyone is concentrated on their own shit.  Their own goals. Their own lives.
Whether or not I qualified for Boston, or bonked at mile 18, running was a gift.  A blessing.

When I started running ultras, I began to realize this even more.  With every trip that I took, breath of fresh air, mountaintop vista, flora and fauna, canyon echo and river crossing I learned to love running for the places it took me.  I learned how special each moment I spent there was.
The reason why I can run 100 miles is because there is simply no place I would rather be.

Maybe I am lying to myself, but I'd like to think I have nothing left to prove.
To myself.  To others.
It's all an illusion anyway, this skin that embodies us.

I just want to seize the day, and enjoy the gift.