I am banking the rest of 2016 in order to have a stellar 2017. I have pulled out of all my fall races and will not schedule another race until I am consistently running at least 60 miles a week and am healthy. I am sad, disappointed, frustrated and still coughing my brains out even after a full round of antibiotics and 2 weeks of rest. Bronchitis, pneumonia, the flu, call it what you will, but whatever has totally derailed my life for the past 3 weeks is just the most recent ailment in a string of rebellions my body has waged against my running plans.
I am not going to sugar coat it; it fucking sucks. It seems as if every single time I have begun to make progress this year, some injury or illness has sent me back to the beginning. The majority of my miles this year feel like they were a fight against the clock the get ready for a race and as I rode the BART home from a work trip to LA last week, it dawned on me that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and constantly feeling like I was trying to catch up. This realization made the decision to cancel my 50 mile debut that I had been looking forward to for a year an easy choice. Somehow, all of a sudden, I was at peace with not racing until my body is actually ready. I emailed my coach to discuss my decision and thankfully, even though he had arrived at the same conclusion approximately a week earlier, he had the compassion to wait until I was better to bring it up with me, thus giving me time to arrive there myself.
So what’s next? Not racing. Running. Building gradually. Volunteering. Strength training. Focusing on nutrition. Adventuring. I want to set myself up for a year of healthy running in 2017 and the only way I am going to be able to do that is if I remove all external pressure and just listen to my body. I will be living vicariously through all my amazing friends who are taking on their first 50k, 50 miler or looking to PR or make the podium at one of the many fall races still left on the calendar and I plan on being out there volunteering and cheering my face off. That’s the beauty of trail running: Even if I am not racing, there are still so many ways to engage with the community and I will never feel isolated or alone.