Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Re-analyzation- Taking time to think!

I admit, it has been a while since I have written. I am sure part of me feels a bit weird writing about subjects that are non-running related, seeing as how this is a "running blog". However, due to a slight tight hamstring "thing", that was presenting itself on the side of my knee, I have not ran more than a handful of times since Western. This has been more than O.K with me because it has provided me the opportunity to explore a whole new side of myself.

I kind of anticipated that after Western States I was going to take a little bit of a break from "competing". I will admit it and say that I was a bit burnt out. Ever since I was 6, I have been competing in sports and that pressure to perform to my best has always been present.

When I first started running 5 years ago, I did not feel that pressure. Each new distance conquered felt amazing and gave me a new sense of joy and fulfillment. I can still feel the emotions I felt after completing my first marathon, 50km, 50 miler, and now recent 100 miler. I have never had a "first" I did not absolutly love. Looking back, I am sure it is because I never put any pressure on myself to be the best; I just wanted to finish and have fun.

Somewhere in those 5 years, something changed for me. Because I did fairly well at running, all of a sudden it became another thing to be competetive at. Each time I did a distance or a race I had already done, I put more and more pressure on myself to acheive a certain place or time. I put pressure on myself to get in a certain amount of hours on the trail, without really enjoying every minute of it. I just did it because I should and it's what other people do. It's hard not to get caught up in what other people (who are at the top of their game) are doing (especailly when you are not sure of what you were doing!).

I guess what I have realized is that, for me, getting to serious about running, takes away the fun of why I do it. I don't want to think about how many hours I "should" be putting in on the trails, or if I am doing enough (speed work).I want to be out there because I WANT to be out there. I think that is why I am always trying to do something new- because whenever it is a first (distance/race), I go have an absolute blast.

A little while before Western I had decided to take on this more relaxed attitude. This strategy seemed to work for me because it allowed me to really take in the experience. No matter what my training, I will always go into an event and give my best. I simply just become a completly different person. It's the worry and fear before the event that seems to kill me.

In the end, the break is just a way to give my psyche a mental break from the stress and worry about racing and to re-analyze why I do this and what I really love about it. With all this said, my result at Western States, left me feeling re-charged and ready to go. However, after being injured for a few weeks, I thought it was best to settle down.

Now, a break for me doesn't mean not running or signing up for events. At this moment, I have no race goals (except for the world cup 100km in Spain in November
If I get accepted onto the team-I'm the 2nd alternate). I will take everything as it comes. Peter and I have a long list of mountain runs/fast packs we want to check off this summer.

Since then however, I have really enjoyed exploring myself as a climber. My boyfriend Peter has been climbing for 17 years and has taken me out numerous times in our near 3 years of being together. With that said, he has been climbing way less than before we met because we have been persuing our running goals together. This past weekend we climbed with some friends in Cal-Chek, just passed Squamish on the way to Whistler. I had so much fun. Words can't describe how challenging climbing is for me and how rewarding it is to reach the top of a hard climb. It's harder than any of the sports I have ever played and the challenge truly is endless. There will always be something harder. I groan, I moan, and sometimes getting to the top just isn't pretty. Just like running, climbing can take you to some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Our weekends are jam packed with trips to places we have always wanted to explore in B.C. Hopefully, a mountain bike will also present itself in my near future!

To sum, life is good. My hamstring/knee is cured and I can't wait to take my exploration to the next level whether it be by trail shoe or rock wall!

See you in the trails!!!

1 comment:


Ah, and isn't it great that you are a multifaceted person who has other interests besides running!Though a talented runner you are! I look forward to hearing about some of those 'fast packs'.