Off the grid….that’s right…the blog has suffered…severely…and no, it’s not fair and the blog as whined a bit about being neglected…it being my 4th child…and with 3 real kids the blog is the least favorite…I still love this 4th kid…just not as much as the other three…and by a far margin too.
Thus, I will not pontificate about the neglect that this 4th child has received. You know why…time…time…the answer Bilbo gave Gollum in “The Hobbit” that guaranteed the release of the hairy creature…but I really digress here…badly, I might add.
I love to write…and actually have a book in the works…the estimated completion date…who the heck knows…remember…I can’t even keep a blog going very well these days.
I am not ready to give up the blog ghost. I enjoy it too much…going back and looking at posts from 3 years ago…and sometimes I cringe…sometimes at the writing…sometimes about the topic…but it is still fun. It has served as a journal of my journey. So…let us continue…regardless of posting frequencies.
I want to focus a bit now on endurance events and a change of plans. The Rocky Raccoon 100 miler is out…not going to run it. A few weeks ago I rolled my ankle violently in the predawn hours on Northshore Trail…on one of the mildly technical parts. I roll ankles a lot…its part of trail running…and you learn to “roll” the ankle with minimum injury and keep on going. This was NOT that type of roll! It snapped loudly…harshly….painfully. I ran another 4 miles with Holly and Jason in hopes to run it out…but when done, it had swelled to the size of a softball…nice….
I kept fitness by riding a bike…after taking 5 whole days off…and then started looking at the training schedule to run a 100 miles. Here is where I will be brutally honest with you…and it pains me to do this…more than you know. It goes against the very inherent characteristics of an Ultra Runner. Let’s face it…part of my identity is that I run…sometimes a long ways…it is who I am. I don’t know if it is right or not…but yes…I have put some of my self-worth in my endurance. Those 5 days off were horrible…and making the decision of not running a 100 miles because I just didn’t have it in me to train for this; tormented my soul…I know…it doesn’t make sense to most people. I didn’t want to have to run 10 to 12 hours Christmas weekend. The kid’s schedule would suffer too…I came to the realization that my plans were changing…and the reasons were as painful as my ankle…”I just didn’t have it in me to put myself through such brutal training this time of the year. The whole realm of emotions and thoughts…”I have gone physically soft…my mental toughness is no longer there for me…my perseverance and determination is now an extinct species.” Depression is probably an overstatement…but definitely there was a downturn in my emotional state…just ask my wife.
It takes time…for me to come to the conclusion that regardless of what I accomplish; my real friends will stay around. That I didn’t let anybody down for not running around 24 hours at Rocky Raccoon…yes…I felt that I let my buds down…the pacers and crew I had lined up...
My wife does not pretend to understand how I am wired…she just knows how it is. She also knew that I needed something out there to train for…to look forward to…even if it wasn’t a 100 miler. She looks me in the eye and says, “Go run 50K in Bandera. You love that race, and you can run 50K right now.” Let me get personal with you right now. Having a wife that knows what buttons to push even when she doesn’t know how those buttons are wired is absolutely priceless. Having a wife that supports me in such endeavors is beyond words. She doesn’t get why anybody wants to run for 31 miles in the most treacherous terrain Texas has to offer…but she knows I need that. I love Bren more than I can tell you.
During all this, my running bud Jenn, was having a rough go too…for far different reasons that make mine reasons look trivial. I told her I plan on running Bandera…more to purify my running soul than anything else. She’s game too…in fact there will be a group of us from North Texas Trail Runners that will be at Bandera.
I don’t plan on setting any records…I know what time I personally want to run Bandera in…part of me thinks I should be running the 100K…but for now I will settle on the 50K.
So there you go…no 100 miler for now…that will be later…
Let me wrap up. Having a spouse that knows what you need is more valuable than I can tell you. Having friends that support you regardless of your endeavors…and sometimes advise you…because they know what’s going on in your head…keep those people around too…they are good for the soul.