Lately I don't know what kind of ultra runner I am. I have quit more races in 2017 than my entire running career leading up to that. I never want to be the type to quit. I never like to feel regret. Ever. Most of my life decisions, (no alcohol, healthy foods, whatever else) are grounded in a significant hate of the feeling of regret. I fought hard to finish many races in the past, Ive been able to work through so many different type of issues. This year however I have been unable to find the energy or the strength to work through them.
I love ultra running & the community. I want to be in this sport long term. I love the feeling of ravaging through a tough goal or the feeling of a win at a race. But I feel I've hit a burnt out point from over racing. My mental game has suffered because of too many races and too many times having to run worried about performance. The more and more I race the less and less significant they become in my head.
I've ran through black hills 100 over and over in my head. I don't even know where to begin. I love how I ran 0-45. I felt so connected with nature and in rhythm and tuned in. I felt so in love with the sport and felt so much energy from every volunteer and member of my crew. I was so excited to pick up my pacer & one of my all time favorite humans. It all crashed down on me when my stomach locked up. I couldn't eat, I couldn't run without a burning pain and every time my heart rate went up for just a bit I would go into dry heaving. My race came to such a screeching halt. I tried for 15 miles to let it subside.
I knew I didn't want to run like that for 40 more miles.
I knew I didn't need to run like that for 40 more miles.
This is what ran through my head out there as my headlamp shines a little light on the cold rocks that lie on the trail.
You've been in the ER twice from running. You're a Dad and a son and a friend. Why in the world would you even entertain to keep going? This is miserable. Does a finish matter enough to be miserable for 10 more hours? can you just hike it out? Will you be proud when you finish 10 hours over your goal? Are you going to be one of those who misses there goal then quits the race? Are you going to be judged for this? Are you going to regret it? Have you fought hard enough to respect the fact that your amazing pacer came all the way here to run with you and spent all that time training and traveling? Is hiking for 10 hours going to make that any better? What do you need to prove to anyone? To yourself?
I concluded to drop. I'm not strong and dedicated as most ultra runners. I feel that way now more than ever. I'm over here putting training on back burners to eating healthy and living a chill life and fitting in runs here and there. I'm not super BA runner. Although I want to set running goals like Sub20 at BlackHills and train an amount that makes it possible for me but challenging for me. I want to go try it and see what I got. I want to run like that because I like that. I don't want to go out to ensure a finish, if it was my WS qualifier yes go out ensuring the finish but this was fun for me to run to what I felt I could do out there. And the fact I didn't hike it out make me less of an ultra runner that's ok with me. I feel bad for dropping. I feel bad for anyone who follows me and thinks I'm super strong because I'm not. I'm mediocre on my best days, over here mostly not working my ass off, walking my dog down the country roads instead of cramming in run after run and I don't know why. But I'm not out there stressing about it and I'm not stressing about BH anymore. I have my WS qualifier for the lottery in 4 weeks & I'll do that one in a way that hopefully I can get a finish. I'll enjoy the mountains and the ultra vibes.
I love this sport enough to take a break from it after that.
My pacer & I are solid. 👊
Writing is healing.