Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm good

I don't think it would be fair to say that I 'talked myself out' of anything...I put quite a bit of thought into where I'm at, what I'm feeling and what I want to do next and things just weren't lining up. Aside from that, I've really enjoyed the notion of:
  1. Running whenever I want
  2. Running for fun
The lack of pressure to remain true to a regimented training plan or waking up at 4 am daily has been a welcome relief these last couple of weeks. Perhaps the psuedo vacation we're on currently in North Dakota is partly to blame. It also may just be that I'm tired of chasing a goal. Don't get me wrong, I love finding the next challenge but seriously, I've been chasing goals for over 4 years now.

What started with this desire to do a marathon has ended with running a 50-mile race. All the while, healing a debilitating case of plantar faciitis in the process and finding a solid well-being to accompany me through these life-changing events.

From a fitness standpoint, I'm happy with where I'm at. There isn't one thing I've set out to do that I haven't accomplished. Jill Homer, author and fellow endurance blogger, previously asked, "What are your great moments?" Here are my Top 5.

6.5-mile training run (Redmond, WA)
    Though I don't remember the month, I know it had snowed and there was a layer of semi-slushy snow with a crusty frozen top on the ground. Justin and I were scheduled to do a run around the loop but the presence of snow made it slightly less-than-appealing. We did it anyway. When we finished that loop we looked at each other and said, "Let's do it again". Up to that point, our longest run was probably 4 miles. In some of the worse conditions possible, we threw caution to the wind and ran 6.5 miles.
    It was my first running moment when I realized that I could do (what felt like) anything.
Portland Marathon 2007
    My first marathon. Ran this with Justin and had agreed that we'd finish together no matter what. We each had our own issues which made the stories and memories even better. To this day I give Justin grief for woofing down his Cliff Bar at mile 18. I'll never forget the energy and pride I felt coming through that chute in downtown Portland.

PF Chang Phoenix Half Marathon 2009
    I spend the 2 years post the Portland Marathon dealing with plantar faciitis (in fact, I remember the moment I felt my facia tear after the Portland marathon). This race was not only a fitness goal but my inaugural event back to running. My goal was to break 2 hours - which I did at 1:57. This was also the race I discovered chocolate milk as a post-race recovery drink (funny the crap I remember!)

Ironman Arizona
    After multiple 70.3 Ironman triathlons, I finally pulled the trigger to do a full Ironman. 6-plus months of training taught me that nothing comes easy. The mojo required to get up at 4 am five days a week was exhausting. I distinctly remember my first 100-mile brick workout (bike followed by run). As I finished my 115-mile bike ride, I remember thinking to myself as I started my 5-mile run, "This is freaking (PG-word substituted) unbelievable! How am I doing this?!"

Black Hills 100 (50-mile race)
    14 hours is a long time to think about life and your own mortality. This was (is) my defining moment as a (now) ultra-runner. I completely enjoyed the challenge and grandeur of this scenic race. 9000' of elevation gain in the Black Hills of SD was one of those moments of undeniable accomplishment and possibility - armed with the knowledge that I did this, I'm ready to tackle anything.
Admittedly, this was a long-winded way of saying, I'm good. Not in a big-headed egotistical-kind of way...but as-in, I'm satisfied. I'm at peace.

I've decided not to do any races for now.

No goals. No 4 am wake-up calls. Oh sure, I'll still be running. But just for fun.

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