I’m starting to think about MdS as a restful vacation with a bit running thrown in. I’m not underestimating the desert...
Thoughts, foolishness and AveosLiza
Hello from somewhere between Washington, DC and Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’ve got a short layover in Grand Rapids before I head on to Denver. Then it’ll be me and a cup of coffee in a Chevy Aveo en route to Pb-ville.
I want to stop en route and take a picture of Mt. Gray for Asa. It’s named after Asa Gray, the botanist, which is how we came to name the boy Asa. (You thought we got it from Dr. Asa Buchanan on “One Life To Live?” Or OT King Asa? Nope, botany all the way.)
I can’t wait to see Mount Massive and Mount Elbert today. I love those two mountains. My teaching schedule is pretty tight while I’m in Leadville, but I’m going to try to get up one of them while I’m there. It’s been far too long since I was leading Outward Bound students to Massive’s summit — wearing a helmet, tall gaiters, and an enormous pack. I wonder what the FKTs on Massive is. I think I might have dibs on the SKT in a helmet.
Western States is just around the corner now and I was feeling amazingly stressed about it for a good while — trying to balance mom-ing and 90-100 mile running weeks and work and marriage. I was a basket case by the time Eliot got home last week. (The blogging suffered!) I wasn’t looking forward to getting out for a run anymore. Mostly I was just glad when a run was over so I could check off the miles. I’d wake up each morning dreading all I needed to get done workout-wise. I wasn’t running hard enough, or fast enough, or far enough as the other runners I compared myself to. A missed run was a stress-filled failure, — and not a lost opportunity to run. I finally realized I needed to change my plan. I took a couple days off, ignored my weekly mileage total and stopped following ultra running on-line and regained my sanity and perspective. And now I feel about 3000% more peaceful about Western States. I’m looking forward to running the course and spending time with two good friends who are going to crew and pace me. I won’t be the fittest woman there, but I will have a great day. I’m still disappointed I’m not more of a Martha Stewart-esque running machine, who can cheerfully balance training, work, relationships, learning, parenting, and ornamental chicken raising. But, well, I’m not.
None of this is to say I won’t be training hard between now and WS or that I won’t give 123% on race day. I’ve just made my peace with the fact that other runners will be doing more — and that I might not do all that well — which will let some folks down and maybe cause others to judge me. Honestly that was the biggest weight my mind. I know that’s foolishness, but it was hard to escape it. (I’m particularly good at recognizing foolishness — less good at escaping it.)
So I’ve relearned that “running pleasure” is an important marker to track after each workout. A couple of weeks of dreary runs means the plan needs to be reevaluated. And this isn’t a reflection on the runner’s character, but in the Plan. Happy runners run better. And they’re also happy.
Enough stating the obvious, I’ve got an “extra small car” to rent.