Sunday, July 27, 2014

On progress, and finding my way.

Dear Diary,

I've done a lot of ultra endurance stuff since my first full year of multisport in 2005-2006. I enjoy knowing I had done them, but often I did not enjoy doing them. Most things I did because I love spending time with SB, and so do things to be with him. I haven't focused on any one thing to do because I like it and I'm good at it.

I joke about my lax training, but there have been ultra events that I trained well for in order to struggle to the middle of the pack. How do you know you're not cut out for ultras, say the folks who are several inches shorter and forty pounds lighter. How do I know? Physics. Oh, also the fact that I don't like them, don't look forward to them, and have started to hate the shit out of them. Increasingly, my goal in completing one was simply not to cry. I love crewing them; i love the ultra community. But when I ran ultras, If I was happy afterwards, it was because it was over. Thank fucking God. Now go get me a pizza so I can gain 10 lbs despite a 5000 calorie deficit.

All athletes.

Increasingly, I've tried to distill what it means for me to be an athlete, and become resentful of continuously doing what I'm not good at and don't enjoy. There comes a time in any relationship when you find yourself frowning and dreading the prospect of that next meeting, and that's when you realize that the relationship has run its course.

I feel energized by my 3-5 mile runs on trails in the foothills in the mornings before work - I come down all flushed and sweaty and happy. I like short, (occasional--marathon.

As for what I'm good at, well, I stay leaner when I'm not continually doing long distance training. I've had two different fitness coaches tell me that I would be good at weight-lifting. I know that when I start working out my heart rate takes about 400-800 meters to really jump up there, which suggests short bursts of speed. I'm medium-sized, with a medium build, and I tend to put on muscle easily. In short, i don't think I'm physiologically built for ultras. But more importantly, I don't like them. So...

For now, I might still do the occasional 50K here and there, if it's in a pretty place on a beautiful trail, like the Pacific Northwest, but fuck all those high-altitude mountain runs where my fingers turn grey and I worry about cutoffs and wish I had more oxygen. I've decided that I want to feel good about myself and have fun with what I do, even if It means seeing less of my tiny, lightweight ultra-running family.





  1. I think it's great that you and SB have running/athletic things in common but if you'd be happier supporting him in his ultras and doing your own thing otherwise, you're a smart cookie to admit it. I'm feeling best in the 3-5 mile range myself these days and though there is part of my brain that keeps saying I need to get back to my 5 mile weekday-10 mile weekend minimums, my heart isn't in it at all. So I schlepp out the 5Ks and come home happy.

  2. Good for you! I kept reading your reviews and thinking, why is she doing this to herself? I'm glad you're going to concentrate on things that will bring you more joy.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I am also not built for distance running (coming from a long line of sturdy potato-diggers) but persisted longer than I should have. Some of us are built to lift weights! I watched a video of Rhonda Rousey earlier this week ( and was so impressed with her strength and athleticism. If it wasn't for the punching and arm breaking...

  4. I live in your world. I am pulling for you and Ironman - I hope this will be your last!

  5. Anonymous12:23 PM

    I asked you this question awhile no IM Boulder then? Or are you going to gut that one out? I have always preached "Do what you love and love what you do"!


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