So that's just a microcosm of how I've been feeling. While the company I work for has many pros and I am thankful to have a job that's providing me skills to take elsewhere, the cons have increasingly spilled over into off-work hours. It's affected my training and relationships, and everything came to a head at AC. As soon as mile 5 the thought of dropping popped into my head. I didn't take the thought seriously until I got dual side stitches when trying to run downhill on the highway around mile 28. From there, the run turned pretty bleak and very un-fun. Even so, I was running pretty well. But I honestly got bored run-walking the 7 mile highway stretch. The thought of continuing sounded appalling. There was no alacrity. No pep in my step, just plodding along because that's what I was supposed to be doing.
I felt, and still feel, disheartened about the whole thing. I quit because I wasn't having fun. I feel like I let down my awesome crew of Rebecca and Franz who were both looking forward to pacing me later in the race. I told everyone that I was going to run 100 miles again, and now I have to explain why I stopped at mile 38. Not fun.
After my last blog post many people reached out to me via text, email, phone, and comments. Everyone was extremely supportive, saying that they understood my plight really well, and that the day was mine and I didn't have to worry about anything other than getting to the finish line. I really appreciated every single message. I was taken aback at the amount of love and support coming from my friends. Even when I thought I was distant from all of these people they all showed that they care, that this community is special, and that is a good enough reason alone to keep running. I'm not alone not wanting to run. And even though it's a sad thought, I'm not alone. Yeah, we all have our first-world struggles that seem big to us. They are big to us. But we're not alone. I made the decision to quit something that I started and I'm sticking to it. I wasn't meant to run AC100 this year, maybe never. And that's ok.
By the grace of Salomon, I'm going to run Waldo 100k in Oregon in a couple of weeks to maintain my states tickets. I'm more excited about this race than AC. I love Oregon and I've always wanted to put in for Waldo but never have due to its proximity to Pine to Palm. I don't want to run 100 miles right now, and I'm so grateful to Salomon for slipping me into Waldo. I started AC in the Sense Rides, and you should go buy some too. Plush, flexible, and protective. They'll make you want to run.
Not all of AC was terrible. I enjoyed the hike up to Mt. Baden Powell and the exposed semi-ridge running after the summit. The volunteers were fantastic (they defied my perceptions of SoCal people). I do like the AC route, minus the whole running on the highway part. I don't know if I'll go back, but it's a good race. I ran most of the 38 miles alone but did meet a couple friendly folks. I admitted to one runner that I was having some mental issues with motivation, and he told me "what's the point if it's not fun?" Multiple people have told me that before, and I try to force it too often. Did I quit to save my mental health or to further destroy it? I think the former, I hope the former. But we'll see. I hope to write more in the future. Thanks for reading. Redemption at Waldo in 12 days. I can swallow 62 miles.
|Happy for this moment. Photo: Terry Majamaki|