Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Just another chapter in the story

I could wrap up the year at this point. There is only 1 week left. A lot of really great running happened in the year of QC, but I kind of feel bad for leaving these final miles of 2015 out of the post. So I'll be patient. Patience is important in running.

I didn't just wake up one day running a billion marathons.

It's been a slow and steady takeover.

Right now, I am signed up for one in January (Miami), February (LA), March (Myrtle Beach, SC), and April (Boston). It started off innocently enough. We are visiting Adam's parents in Miami and just so happened to pick a marathon weekend. LA has been on the short list of marathons to do in my lifetime and when it coincided with the Olympic Trials, it seemed like too good of an opportunity to turn down. I am obsessed with the Olympics. I'd probably faint if I met Bob Costas in person. Myrtle Beach is the newest sign-up. I won a contest for writing a letter to the Marshall University marathon race director explaining the awesomeness that is MUM. And I don't really need to explain Boston.

The thing is, I have a lot of races on the calendar for another reason. I want to build a solid base for my big goal that I hope to achieve in the fall. Jenster has been raving about the Hinson Lake 24 hour for years. A year ago, I still was thinking this was insane. But after falling in love with the timed race I did in June and completing 50 miles in September, a 24 hour race suddenly didn't sound so scary.

I have no idea what to expect at this point. I kind of love sleep and have very little experience running in the middle of the night. And 24 hours is a heck of a lot longer than my longest run. But I like the idea of hanging out with a bunch of weirdos running laps, eating snacks, and seeing just what my body can do.

The marathons currently are just for funning. And base building. I might race one of them (likely Boston) if I am feeling great, but I am totally okay with keeping my current PR for a bit. Besides, I don't expect to PR every marathon I run. I just want to finish them happy and healthy.

That's the thing about this racing business. Sure, I like to run fast. Running fast is primal, competitive, and leaves a sense of satisfaction like no other. But I am still a runner without racing. Racing can give my running a sense of purpose, but it doesn't change the fact that I am ultimately running because I enjoy running. I am not one to feel a slave to my training. I take extra race days when I need them and challenge myself when I'm ready to test new limits.

And while I really, really love running, it's not everything in life. It shapes my life, but it doesn't define me. I try to maintain a healthy relationship with it because I've loved it for a long time and I want to keep loving it for as long as I can.

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