I haven't written much on here in the past year because I haven't done anything that's remotely noteworthy. Several people have contacted me out of the blue in the past couple of months telling me I inspired them to start running, start doing ultras or run a particular race or trail. I never think anyone reads this, but it's good to be proven wrong.
Rough rough 2012 from a running perspective. One injury after the other. Was only able to run 40% of what I normally do for the year... if that. In November I hit sort of a running rock bottom. Longest I'd ever been without it & didn't see how a return would happen. My first month back felt extremely awkward. I wouldn't run around people because of the weight I'd gained during the time off and because my arms & legs just didn't want to work properly. I had to think about every step and it was a lot of work. I can't tell you how out of control my limbs felt.
5 weeks ago, I finally realized there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Things started clicking again but running was still hard. 3 weeks ago, I put in a 50 mile week. The week after that, 60. I spent 4 days running at Beech Mountain and ran at 5,000' elevation in 4" of snow, 20 degree temps & 30 mph winds. Ran 2 or more hours 4 times that week. Good week last week too. These recent solo runs have brought me more joy than you can imagine. I was running around lost with ice crusted onto my leg hairs with a huge smile on my face... and other days have been quite similar. Finally feel like a real runner again so it's time to make plans.
I feel during this period of dormancy, I have not only let myself down but have also not lived up semi-sponsorships with Brooks & TrySports. A periphery goal will be to be able to fit into the TrySports singlet again (I swear those things were too snug to begin with!). A year ago, I truly felt like the TrySports "Believe. Achieve." motto was something I lived by. Since then, I suppose I've been a positive influence through coaching but my own running was wrecked. I am thankful that Brooks & TrySports have continued to help me out and see me as an ambassador for the sport & their brands. Time to go big again and put the work in to attain these goals.
Race Schedule for the next 4 months:
Saturday, February 16- Pilot Mountain Payback Marathon, Pilot Mt., NC
Saturday, March 23- Gator Trail 50K- Lake Waccamaw, NC
Sunday, April 7- Mountains-to-Sea Trail 50K, Durham, NC
Sat-Sun, April 27-28- C&O Canal 100 Miler, Knoxville, MD
I feel like I could get through a 50K or whatever distance now but the time would be slower than I became used to in 2011. I am very purposely not running road races this spring where I might be disappointed in not setting PRs. I'll let the speed come later, but for now, I'll set very challenging goals of endurance.
When I first started doing 24 hour races, I liked the feeling that I could bailout at 60 miles, 70, or whenever. Now that I've done a lot of them, the willpower to keep going is extremely tough. Knowing that you pass your car every 15 minutes wears on you. I think I need the idea of a definite finish line the 100 miler will give me.
Really looking forward to working hard these next few months & see where it goes!