Today I clicked over to one of my favorite blogs, "A Life Less Bullshit", written by Nicole Antoinette, who is one of my Oiselle teammates. I always feel super inspired and motivated after reading Nicole's blog, and today was no exception. In today's post "If It Doesn't Fit, Stop Wearing It", Nicole discusses re-examining goals and how they relate to what you really want. This really struck a chord with me and my recent running situation. In fact, I almost felt a lightbulb pop above my head after reading it.
If you've been following me on social media at all, you've probably noticed that I haven't been discussing my marathon training much. That's because I am no longer training for the Rehoboth Marathon.
I honestly have not felt very inspired to train for this race over the past couple of months, especially the week leading up to my wedding and during our two week honeymoon in Spain. I hiked, biked, walked and explored but only ran two times over three weeks. During that time, my priority was my wedding and enjoying time exploring Spain with my husband, and running did not really come into play.
After returning from my honeymoon, I realized I would not have time to adequately get in shape for the race. Turns out, eating jamon and drinking cava for 2 weeks straight is not an ideal marathon training strategy. As a result, I will either be dropping to the half or not running Rehoboth at all. I am very comfortable with this plan versus forcing myself to run a slow and miserable marathon just because I signed up for it.
This got me to start re-examining my BIG goals that I've been talking about since the spring. I mentioned two big goals I wanted to accomplish over the next couple years, which were qualifying for the 2016 Boston Marathon and running a 100k race. At the time, qualifying for Boston was my priority and I set-up a plan to do it, which included a fall 2014 marathon, and two more marathons in 2015 to achieve a qualifying time by September 2015.
At this point, I believe qualifying for 2016 would be a big stretch for me, especially since I am not running a fall marathon this year. It is definitely possible, but the more I consider this goal, the more I find myself falling out of love with it. I reflect back to something I wrote back in the springtime, and realize I know myself better than I thought:
One thing I've learned over years of running is that I'm always changing and evolving as a runner. The beauty of this sport is that there are so many different avenues to take. Right now, I really want Boston, but I won't let it control me. If, for any reason, I feel this goal impeding on my relationship with running, I will step back and re-examine my priorities. The only way to stay healthy and happy in running is to remain flexible, which is my intention as I work towards achieving any long-term goals.
As I think back over the past several months of road running, I struggle to find the same feelings that I felt while training for trail ultras most of last year. I've been postponing my longer road runs until Sunday afternoon when I would slog for 12 miles with no real purpose. While running faster on the roads can definitely be fun, it just isn't the same as running down pine covered single track trail. In fact, my absolute favorite part of our honeymoon was hiking to the top of Montserrat in Spain with Josh because it was just so damn beautiful up there. As much as I loved running short and fast races earlier this spring, I now feel myself being drawn back to the trails as I hoped would eventually happen after burning out a bit last year.
At this point, I'm not sure what the next year of racing will bring. I'm considering everything right now, including ultras, and especially the 70.5 mile Laurel Highlands Ultra in Western PA. However, I'm trying not to make any abrupt decisions without considering the amount of training required. Registering for a race is the easiest part, but after 2013 I understand the huge commitment it takes to train properly for an ultra.
I'll close with a quote from the post that inspired my change of heart:
Dreams can be fluid. Your dream can be something that fuels you and sustains you, challenges you and inspires you – until it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t? That just means you’re ready to step into (and learn from) an entirely different dream – no explanation or justification necessary.