Needed Time Off

I have cleared the schedule, hung up the shoes and found a new pastime. 2019 will be remembered as the year that ultras went on the back burner.

Last spring and summer, my running struggled along as I battled twinges and tweaks and resulting low motivation. My achilles injury forced me to forgo a bunch of races. It was really difficult to get the proper training in for my A race, the Mighty Quail 100 km. In the end, I got it done but I lost something along the way – the desire to push through.

For me, running long distances requires strong focus on a specific end point – usually a certain finish line – and that focus will pull me through the long hours of training. I really love being out in the forest, deep in the lesser known trails, reminding myself to eat and drink and watch my footing as I go. There is a purity and ease as I clock the kms but that ultimate race goal is truly what gets me out the door.

I have always been one to take time off from running once daylight savings ends but, last fall, I took it to the level of hibernation. I had no desire to run in the snow or rain, nor solo or with the group. Instead I read, became a homebody and allowed myself to get soft around the edges and it has been fabulous. I got a new-to-me mountain bike and have been learning to rip up the trails (a little). I ride purely for fun and usually in a group. There is no goal except perhaps to end the ride without any new bruises.

Last night, B and I were talking about his upcoming Tor de Glaciers race – a 450 km loop of the Italian alps in Sept 2019 – and reminiscing about our Tor de Geants race five years ago. I found myself wishing aloud (again) that I could have a re-do of that event. I believe I could have done it better. B was quick to suggest a number of other 100 mile and 200 mile races which would allow me to prove myself to myself.

As I scrolled through event pages, looking for an ultra race that would fit in my 2020 fixed summer holiday, I had to laugh at myself.

Here I was, searching for that goal race, ready to click the ‘register’ button, despite the fact that I haven’t laced up my running shoes for weeks. But perhaps this summer of rest and relaxation has worked its magic.

I knew I needed some time off – not to consider quitting for good but simply to come back with a thirst for that next finish line.DSCN0370

Published by

Along A Path

general lover-of-life, including ultra-running, teaching, enjoying craft brews, being outdoors and living simply

2 thoughts on “Needed Time Off”

  1. Hi,
    Loooove your blog — thank you for sharing!
    I guess I’ve sensed all those thoughts, but not in so many words. Your biking has filled a
    hole while you refocus on the running, if and when ….
    Can’t picture you not being involved in the great outdoors! You’ll figure out something
    that will reset your joy! 😄😄
    XO, lots of love, Mum

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Very cool! I can relate (although not to ultras), I am always switching up fitness routines or activities and even taking some time off just to reinvigorate my interest. Sometimes the best thing to do is “miss” something to make you want it more! Great read thank you!

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