Less than 4 weeks to go before the next Ultra at Crown King. Consequently, I have definitely been feeling the “hamster wheel” effect lately. Every time the alarm goes off, I picture Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Wake up well before the sun, run the miles, climb the hills, then do the rest of the grown up responsibilities. Some days, another round of miles makes its way in there too.
Being in the middle of the biggest block of training right now, the mind and body get weary, and you start to wonder WHY you are putting yourself through it all. Everyone has their reasons, not all the same, but ultimately, we all have our own “WHY.” I have lots of why’s, not the least of which is the awe of seeing how the body can adapt over weeks and months of training, as we get stronger mentally and physically. Done properly, the body breaks down, recovers with rest, and adapts to be ready for the next level. Some crazy distance or climb that seemed impossible a few months ago, now becomes your weekly Monday or Tuesday workout that you don’t give much thought to. The human body is capable of so much, and I truly dig the challenge of testing my limits and seeing what I can achieve.
Suffice it to say, last Friday morning, I was NOT feeling that “why,” nor did I care to see what my body could do. I was scheduled for long miles, which I’d have to break up into 2 runs due to mom & work duties. As usual, the alarm went off at stupid-o-clock, and as if on auto-pilot, I headed out in the dark for some solo easy effort miles. This is what I mean… “easy” miles actually meant 9+. After getting Shorty to school, I then headed off for some more trail miles. By this time, my brain is trying all sorts of things to talk me out of it. “Your legs are toast. You have to climb over 4000′ tomorrow. You have a huge to-do list. You should just take that 9 miles and be done. You don’t have time for this.” I think we’ve all heard these voices. In spite of the valiant effort my brain put forth in trying to back out of it, I forged ahead, thinking of the reasons I should do it, not the least of which is I CAN. I am super fortunate to have the opportunity to build my own schedule and be flexible with my training. Did I have to put a couple of things on the back burner that day? Sure. Did everything get done? Nope. But I also started thinking about so many people I know who make it work, in spite of the many challenges & obstacles life throws at them. Like my running buddies who start their runs so early in the morning, that Strava classifies them as “night” runs, so they can get in the miles before a full day of work. Or those who put in time on the treadmill when traveling (YUK). Doing whatever needs to be done to achieve those goals.
So, a couple of miles into my trail run, feeling SOOO tired and dragging butt, as I was thinking about those who do what needs to be done to feed their “why,” I stopped to take in the view, got a little pep talk from Florence and the Machine, and even though my tired old legs didn’t move much faster from that point, they definitely felt lighter, and I mentally enjoyed those miles so much more, simply remembering to not take for granted my ability to do this crazy thing.
Bottom line, if it’s important enough to us, we will find a way. What’s YOUR WHY?
Run Happy, my friends!