So I am overdue for a post. And believe it or not, I’ve actually written three or four loooong posts in the last little while that just never made it live. Part of the reason was that I wrote just to get my feelings down in the moment, and once I’d done so, it seemed less important to actually post my musings publically.
However, I feel like that’s kind of why I have a blog. It’s a chance to write, to express what I’m feeling, and sometimes the only person that needs to see that post is me.
That said, it’s time for an update! Since the Squamish50km in August, I’ve been laying low dealing with some niggling health issues, but that is not to say that I haven’t still been busy. I’ve run the inaugural Skypilot race (beautiful course, and so technical), the Rubble Creek Classic (worth running just for the jaw dropping views and photo moments), the Oregon Coast 50k (another amazing Rainshadow Running event, which totally delivered on epic coastal beauty as promised), and most recently the Mountain Madness’ Hallows Eve marathon last weekend.
Aside from the above-noted spectacularly breathtaking scenery that all of them delivered on in spades, the other thing that all of these races have had in common is that I didn’t race any of them. As mentioned, I have dealt with some setbacks since Squamish50km, and basically the only way for me to move past them was to scale back my intensity for a while. This posed a slight problem since I had already committed to these events prior to this, and I still had many reasons for wanting to run them. After much consideration and back-and-forth conversations with Gary and Eric, I ended up still completing these races… as fun runs only. That was the bargain, and my end of it was making sure that I stuck to the deal and didn’t get swept up in race fever.
I didn’t really realize at the time how hard that would be to do, but the mental effects of holding back and letting go of my competitive side definitely took a toll. There were a couple of races in particular where there were many tears of frustration shed on the trails, and I finally had to let go of my pride and truly just enjoy these events as the incredible experiences they still were.
In hindsight, I’m not sure that it was the smartest thing for me to insist on doing these races, and it’s certainly been a learning experience for me. On one hand I’m not exactly worrying about “placing”, and technically it doesn’t really matter if I’m posting slower times than I should be… but at the same time I still underestimated the psychological effects of constantly curtailing my pace and never feeling like I “left it all out there” at the end of a race. I blame my Scottish side for not wanting to waste any registration fees, but I think I’ve also learned that there has to be give and take, and sometimes I could do with a little less stubbornness and a little more common sense. Lesson noted. Whether it is learned…we shall find out when the same dilemma presents itself again. 🙂
As for what is coming up next: the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile is approaching at terrifying speed (33 days, eek!), and then I will probably take much of December off before launching into training for the Gorge 100km in March. My goal for 2015 is to focus on quality versus quantity as far as racing goes, and I am beyond excited to be tackling longer distances and taking on new challenges.
That’s all I’ve got for now! More to come on the North Face 50 mile as I start freaking out, I’m sure. 🙂