I’m officially 3 days out from the Leave No Trace Marathon! In my last post, I had just completed my longest run of this training cycle of 20.5 miles and was feeling good. Happy to report that I’m still feeling good a few weeks later. I’ve been tapering without issues-none of the usual second guessing my training plan or phantom injuries that sometimes pops up uninvited during taper time. I’ve continued to run 3 times per week and crossfit 4-5 times.
In terms of goals for this race; I want to finish with a smile on my face. I hate that feeling of questioning life decisions coupled with vowing to never run again, so I’m really hoping to avoid that this time around. I’ve shared before that the marathon is my favorite distance for a few reasons. One is that is allows me to push into physical discomfort and learn how to endure rather than to suffer. It also allows me to mentally push myself and force myself to deal with boredom and pain (I enjoy that aspect of racing.) But conversely, it’s not so long as to destroy me and leave me broken for weeks while I struggle to recover. The marathon also allows a good balance between running and everything that isn’t running. Though don’t ask my husband how he feels about this-he may have a different perspective!
My hope is to feel happy with the outcome, whatever happens on those trails. Goal is to complete 4 loops and not think about dropping between loops. Apparently you do that once and it sticks with you for a while: see my Buckeye Buster 50k DNF from 2015 where I dropped after 1 of 3 loops. Conversely, I always forget that I became a master looper at O24 where I went around the loop 63 DAMN TIMES. It’s easy to forget the good stuff evidently.
As with many of my training cycles, I’m going to miss it once it’s completed. You plan for so long, the big day comes, it’s amazing, you’re high for a few days, and then bam, back to normal life. That’s a treacherous time for me and I usually end up signing up for additional races when I’m feeling empty after a big event. I have a history of trying to capitalize on my training “leftovers” by rolling into training cycle after training cycle. One of the things I’ve tried to do to avoid racing just for the sake of chasing that next high, is to volunteer at one of the big local trail races coming up in October. I’ve participated as a runner in this event the last few years, and now I want to give back to the community as an aid station volunteer. I feel like preemptively signing up to volunteer will help me (at least with one race I love) to avoid jumping back into training without a break.
My plan is to take a break from racing all together for a while. *If* I don’t do anymore races in 2018 (and I really don’t have plans for any more), I’ll end the year with 4 total races and 3 crossfit competitions (I have a 3rd comp coming up in September.) This is a pretty big step back for me compared to what I’ve typically run year over year. We hope to expand our family soon which for me means taking it easy on my body while it diverts energy to bigger projects.
Vintage pic of abbie and I. We’ve been training together all summer. This is from 2015 moebius 50k when she paced me the last 12 miles or so. This weekend, she’ll run her first full at LNT and I couldn’t be more excited for her!
Send me vibes for an uneventful race!