When the Hardest Choice isn’t that hard

by nomeatbarefeet

I am head strong. I have forced myself to complete runs, sometimes to my own detriment. And since falling in love with trail running—and experiencing ultrarunning vicariously through blogs, podcasts, and videos—I sometimes forget what has to go into training for longer and longer events.

Case in point: The Escarpment Run.

I have wanted to run this race since last year. When I found out my 50k time qualified me I was psyched; when I applied and was accepted to run it I was even more psyched. The details, though, were a bit daunting. The race boasts 10,000 ft of elevation change over 18.6 miles; it is point-to-point; it is an “adventure” run, with no aid stations and no assistance.

I thought, should I really run this? Sure, I can do it. Did the lack of real training thus far dampen my spirits or make me rethink my decision? Nope. Did I really think through the ramifications of what was involved in doing the race—the logistics of driving to and from the race; having to shell out more money to stay over night and eat out; having Katie wait around for me; being alone, without help or recourse to dropout if need be—did I real think all this through? No.

After all of this I finally decided to drop.

It was, after all, just a race. Sometimes I am so focused on running and my goals that I loose sight of the “we” that I am a part of. I am connect with a wonderful woman who has helped me, crewed me, and loved me through so much—when the “we” is the focus the dropping out was not such a hard choice after all.

Maybe I will run it some year. For now I will keep my goals a bit more realistic, and I will enjoy spending more time with Katie and less time training. I have missed running together, and the summer is the perfect time to get back into it (especially since Katie has been feeling much better about any injuries she had).

I don’t really consider this drop a failure. There is nothing wrong with reexamining yourself and saying, “You know what? I think I need to hold back for a bit. I think I need to not do this.” Knowing when to accept that is the mark of self-awareness and strength. (And better to realize this now then 10 mile into the race when I have no way of safely stopping :))

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