Here were my goals, along with some post-failure commentary:
1. Finish HURT smiling Despite my smiles, I did not finish HURT.
2. Finish second Hard Rock qualifier It wasn't pretty, but I did it.
3. Sub-9 @ Wild Hare or Hells Hills Hmm. Didn't run Wild Hare; finished Hells Hills in 10:34. I'm sure I had a good excuse. :)
4. Win Ultra series for Texas Trail Running Championship Nerp.
5. Earn Cactus 500 jacket Nerp.
6. Sub 24 @ Cactus DNF'd after 50 miles.
7. Win 5th 60k CK series overall Only ran 2 of the 4 races this summer.
My most recent race was the Cactus 100. I seriously had a Forrest Gump moment early on in the first loop. This was me, minus the beard:
During the race, I flashed back to a comment from a fellow runner during the Tahoe 200 in September. He said that after Tahoe he would never do another run that didn't end during the daylight, so that he could sleep in his own bed that night. Running Cactus -- a race I've always counted among my favorites -- I suddenly realized I wanted to sleep in my own bed that night, too. I simply had no desire to keep going. I made myself run to mile 50, and then I turned in my chip, changed clothes, and went on to crew for Joe. And he's so fast that we were both home and asleep by midnight. My only regret is that I didn't sign up for the 50-mile race in the first place. If I had, not only would I not be labeled a DNF, but I would also have gotten 2nd place female and some points for the Rockhoppers in the Texas Championship Series. C'est la vie.
After Cactus, I decided I needed a break. I've kept doing race after race -- Reveille Peak Ranch, Tahoe 200, J&J, Cactus, with no real training in between. Strava shows me the grim truth -- weeks with 25-35 miles of running, because I was either recovering from an ultra, or tapering for an ultra. It's always been like that, to an extent, since I started running ultras, but this recent trend is even worse than usual. I vowed after my Cactus DNF that I would actually train for my next race, Bandera 100k. So that's what I've been doing these last few weeks -- *actually* training. Like, actually setting my alarm and waking up early to run before work, and actually doing double-digit training runs by myself. It's been ages since I've done things like that. I'm starting to kind of, sort of feel like a real runner again.
I don't know if I'll be in good enough shape to do a decent job at Bandera. But I hope that I can set goals for that race, and for all my races next year, that I'm really excited about achieving. It's too easy, clearly, to become burned out like I've done this year. One fortunate thing is that the huge life stressor -- the annulment question -- has been removed, and that constant cloud of anxiety and sadness that's been hovering over me for so long has gone away. Another fortunate thing is that, despite my lackluster performances of late, Team TROT has renewed my membership; I'm so fortunate to be part of that team of all-stars. I sure hope I can do them proud next year.
|Team TROT superstars . . . and me!|