We're in June.. .I've now had enough time to recover fully from my 1st full season of building up my mileage and experimenting with running a few ultras. And, in short- I'm SOLD..... I want nothing more than to be an active part of the ultra running community. I want the lifestyle that lets me train for maximal physical, mental and spiritual endurance. I want to be able to continue to share my growth as a person as well as a runner in hopes that my selfish lifestyle inspires others to follow their true passion.... hopefully eventually finding a balance between the selfish hours I spend working on myself and the good I can bring to the world.... not sure how to get to that point, but just stating that I hope I never lose the want to be a do-gooder. :).
To do this... means it will take an even greater time commitment to the sport, and even less time given to things I'm not fully utilizing or are not directly benefiting myself or my community. The Focus must narrow. Sacrifice comes.
I can't express the inner turmoil that begins to build when I picture my ideal weekend runs, setting out early to find a trail head and begin my run by 4:45/5am heading out into resolute areas of trees, rocks, water, and hills (Lots of Hills :) ).....covering miles takign the time to document the moments that are priceless, taking the time to eat or walk or whatever only to eventually find my way back to my car or bike in the mid-afternoon and taking myself to the nearest lake with a swimming area large enough worth lapping a few times and then heading back home for a fantastic shower and restorative yoga practice before getting a little overly dressed up to meet some friends or someday a significant other perhaps....lol....for dinner and a beer and heading to bed at 10pm so that I can wake up for equally wonderful though shorter day outside.
But I've got to be kidding myself.... theres no way I can maintain the relationships I have while building more and never being around.... I feel totally disconnected and yet more connected than ever. My guess is that this is not profoundly unique and that any time you "take the road less travelled" there are many many moments of "Maybe the highway was a better choice...." But I'm making my decision.
A great teacher during my undergrad years took me, shaky with anxiety about my decision to change my major (after the entireRoanoke college athletic training department made exceptions for and aided me in joinging their program despite being over a full semester behind) into his office and said, "Meg, I've got this great rule for myself and I think you should consider trying it: Make a decision, and do it before 10am. This way you can't spend the whole day worrying about its possible consequences." The point being of course: every choice in life has consequences, some will hurt others or upset others- but you must decide for yourself where you are going. None of those people will live your life for you; And therefore just Decide and Do. The energy spent worrying isn't helping anyone. If those effected chose to be hurt/ upset by your decisions, then whether or not you agonized over it will mean very little to them. So thats it, I am chosing to be an ultra-runner. Not a marathoner, not a 5k sprinter... I will likely never see a 5K under 18 minutes in my life (unless my goals change drastically)...and this is ok with me.... as long as I can leave home in the morning with a credit card, water, and flash light- running and get home with all of my joints intact and a smile on my face.
There is a lot of work ahead of me, but I've already proven to myself I can and will do it. But there are no gaurantees....it could end in an instant.... and I guess I fear if I let anyone down on my way...then when/if I fall I'll be left stranded. I've been told more than once this is NOT the case, but trust is hard for me.... how can Anyone claim anything about he future? No one can claim at any present moment how they will think or feel or Act in the future moments. But this a risk we face in Every relationship, in every contract we sign or in every promise we make to ourselves and others.
I'm not sure where this is going but I feel in my heart that writing is the best way for me to express myself and to sort through my thoughts. I guess in some strange way I'm writing this as an apology.
An Apology to my friends that wonder where I've gone, and wish that I was less passionate just once in a while so I would make a little more time and effort to see them, or maybe at least just find some other hobby to talk about.
And its an apology to my parents who I am apparently worrying sick with my night time runs and ever increasing dreams of leaving the country more often for Very Long runs with great risks (in their eyes). I'm not doing it to scare or worry anyone, I really do take the risk into account and listen to everyone's advice- I end up following my heart because every time I have thus far, I have been happy and overjoyed to find where it has taken me.
Also An apology to my Eating Disorder, because despite My Inner Sickness's voice attempting to guide me be back to a self that works to please others and fit in with everyone she thinks is "normal" and "perfect" I have chosen to blatantly turn my back on her- I quit on my Eating Disorder 2.5 years ago and she reminds me often how angry and hurt she STILL is. Everyday I cope with this anger- it is an odd internal imbalance- I truly feel some internal anger with myself. Its as if being who I am Happiest being is failed to "suffer enough." How dare I be happy... positive, loving, joyful..... but I AM.....and my scars from the 19yr battle are not only internal, they are external and apparent to the world..... as long as I can see those scars.... I know better than to ever be tempted by those lies. Yes- this is WHY I have it tattooed on my ankle- the same place I tie my running shoes.... and my left ankle, because as a child I loved that in sports utilizing the legs (gymastics primarily) I was a lefty- which I was dopey enough to feel special about. And just like most human beings.... despite the fact that I am not truly all that special- I Like to Feel Special :).
This is also an apology to the many organizations I feel I should be doing more to help via my talents or ability to promote.... but now is not the time..... And maybe I'm painfully wrong somehow and I will look back to regret not giving more of my time to building my relations with present options....but I truly feel I'm not done exploring enough to make any commitments to anyone who'd need to depend on me for any extended period of time.
So I'm deeply deeply Sorry that there isn't enough time for me to do Everything in my heart that I wish I could, but for now.... I'm training; I'm running when the sun rises and often when the sun sets, and when Im not running, I am swimming, biking or practicing yoga or just plain resting. Please ... Join me.... for any of it, for all of it.... its a long road and I invite anyone to come out to share even just a few "miles" of it with me.
I can only pray that the time I commit to a passion so solitary in and of itself will in time build itself to be something greater than it seems, but without truly committing to it... I will never know, and THAT is a risk I'm not really willing to take.
But Hell... things change.... maybe that 17min 5k sounds good... I'll let you know tomorrow ;). Afterall I'm human... and better yet- I'm female which by the old standards grants me the right to change my mind as often as I'd like. Just Kidding.
Up Coming Races in the works:
Mason Dixon Longest Day 100k- uncomfirmed;
Bear Brook 53.4mi Race- pending commitment from my mother (she wants to be there- strange for me- but Awesome!!)
Catocin 50K- pending me mailing the application :/
Heritage rail trail 50k
Cheat Mountain 50miler
Air force Marathon
And beyond that-pending my decision to commit to my first 100 miler (late sept/ Oct)
Marine Corps Marathong with Semper Fidelis Health and Wellness- a memorial run <3
Thanks, as always, to everyone who loves me despite my insanity.