50 miles to hell

January 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm 1 comment

seems lately most of my posts have taken a far more personal turn. there’s been a few things going on that i’ve needed to share and get some advice on. but i realized this morning that i’ve written few to no updates on where i am in my running comeback. maybe i’m scared to jinx it. maybe i don’t feel like it’s worthy of sharing yet. but it helps me see the strides i make by writing about it.

i’ve been back running for seven weeks now. it was a slow tentative start. there were, and honestly still are, days where i’m not completely convinced that the fracture is fully healed. though there’s no sharp pain like before, there is often discomfort and sometimes i put on a pair of shoes and am clearly reminded that the foot is still swollen. maybe it will never be the same. maybe i just need to be patient. but regardless i feel little to no discomfort when actually running so i’m not sitting around waiting. i can’t!

i’ve made reference to it in a couple posts but i haven’t really gone into detail about my next challenge. on april 6 i will be doing my first ultramarathon. ultras are defined as anything over the marathon distance of 26.2 and typically start at the 50k distance. true to my nature, i opted to forgo the 50k distance (that’s barely longer than a marathon! geesh!) and skip straight to a 50 mile … on trails … with pretty major hills.

i honestly never thought i would consider an ultra. not just because running anything that far is damn insane but because ultra runners are a different breed and i never thought i was that kind of runner. there are no crowds. no street lined spectatorship. no expo event excitement. and though there is a very strong bond amongst ultra runners, it’s also a far lonelier run. solo. internal. deep.

somewhere in the past year or so i’ve felt a shift in who i am both as a runner and a person. though years ago i found self-confidence and security in who i am i also still relished a social acceptance that i tried to define and strive for. running with a group, in more popular large scale events, gave me everything i thought i wanted. support, friendship, understanding, ways to fill the voids. and though i love my running family, i’m coming to realize that the emptiness and insecurity that lingers is masked by never allowing myself to face what i think i fear most; myself.

like everything else in my world, i keep a very tight reign over my emotions. i’ve always joked that if i need a good cry, i pencil it in on my calendar. and yes pencil. never pen. because i certainly can’t break down on a night mini-me is home, nor can it be a night before a big meeting (my eyes swell so bad) and  i need to reserve the right to reschedule if something more important pops up. funny? yeah, sure. but sadly, pretty serious. i never saw any benefit to letting my emotions get the best of me.

but what i’ve come to see is that by denying myself the right to allow extreme lows, i’ve also denied myself the ability to feel extreme highs. and somehow i think reaching for the low will be easier than accepting the high. for me, i think this race will present me a physical need to reach deeper inside myself than i ever have, and will give me the most open honest opportunity to look myself in the eyes. i almost want this race to break me. not fully. i’ll be damned i want to finish and finish proud but i want to have to face and conquer inner demons and ghosts along the way.

wow. the intent of this post was to give a mileage break down. a week by week play of xyz miles at whatever pace. but somehow i went where i’ve been as of late. soul searching. i guess this is where i need to be right now.

as for the running update let’s just say i’m getting there. i’m settling into a good routine of days and times that just need to increase in distance. if all goes according to plan this week should be a weekly mileage total of 40 plus. not really even close to where every ultra training plan says i should be at this point but given i had to heal a broken foot i’m pretty content with where i am.

the next ten weeks may be my biggest life journey ever. physically and emotionally.

it may just be my fifty miles to hell.

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Entry filed under: exercise, fear, running, training. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

the rest of the story january miles

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Oh my ultra. As I read this post I can’t help but be reminded of the song lyrics Let Go by Frou Frou.

    “So, let go,
    Jump in
    Oh well, what you waiting for?
    It’s alright
    ‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
    So, let go, yeah let go
    Just get in
    Oh, it’s so amazing here
    It’s all right
    ‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown”

    I’m terrified and yet, very excited for you. I can’t even begin to fathom the experience you’ll have running 50 miles – mentally, physically, spiritually…but as I read this post I can’t help but agree, this will be one hell of a physical and mental journey.

    Reply

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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