“I wasn’t even sure you were even running anymore”, says Tony, as we cross paths this morning on Amp.
Yes, I guess I have been silent recently. Or vague. Tony’s comment was just one of many over the past week. My Mom asked me if I was going to WS100 again. When I said no, she asked if I had retired. My sister asked me if I was running at all on her visit this past weekend. My friend asked me if I was racing Leadville. It was not a 1-word answer. It goes on.
So yes, I have been running. Decently. Base building-ish. I took a break from Green Mountain for the winter because of some combination of cold, wet and not having a car when I usually would have before. It was a nice break. I even had streaks of not running this winter but I quickly find that my “soul” likes to get out and run around the reservoir I live by daily. Its my patrol. It makes me feel good. So I do it. I don’t do it to train or run faster. I just do it to get out.
The reality is that I have a job where I sit in a chair a lot. When I don’t exercise, I gain weight. I get sluggish. My bowels get angry. Running equalizes all that and more. Part of me always figured I would just retire at some point from running. That sounds cool. Makes you sound professional or some such shit. I am so good that I have to tell people I am not doing this anymore. Right. That’s not the case here. I went from running to get un-fat. To running to race. To running to enjoy challenges. To just running because its part of me now. Is this making any sense?
So over the past few months, I stopped talking about my miles. Maybe its because they are mine? Maybe its because its not extraordinary. I don’t know. I just didn’t have the passion to share. I don’t care if you “look at me!”. I don’t have anything new planned. I am content doing the same old stuff for a while longer while seeing if new challenges open up for me. I have a history of taking up some new hobby. Doing the shit out of it. Then dropping it cold. I feel like I have tried to drop this one a bit. And while its not holding the same weight in my mind as years prior, I can’t shake it. Or the elusive big buckle. The real goal is just having a race I am proud of there. I am proud of all the finishes. But I oddly am more proud of the DNF because I feel like I went for something. So just a solid race. No 100 is perfect. But if its solid, then the time will speak for itself. If its enough for big, so be it.
What do I do with that? Well, for the past 3 years, I have started thinking about the Leadville Trail 100 on Jan 1. Training starts! Go. By the time we hit June, I am fucking spent. July lingers. By August, get this over with already. This year, I changed. I haven’t really started. But I will soon. I hope to time the peak better this year. Maybe the implied delay will make me feel like I don’t have as much time and push harder. Maybe not. I am sure I can fake 100 miles this year if I want. Or be cool and do a DNS (Did not start). Never had one of those! But those aren’t going to get me any closer to that stretch goal of the 1000 mile buckle. I am not the fastest but I think I can be in the top tier of repeat sufferers.
So with a spark of that, I headed back to Green today after 2 months or so away. Then I struggled through the slippery ice with no traction up the hill to have JV catch me from behind as planned. As we stood on the summit, I turned and noticed something.
His legs! Jeff is like the groundhog. When you see his legs, that must mean winter is over. That means that summer is almost here. And there is nothing quite like running trails in the heat of the summer. Maybe my motivation turned today. I hope so. Being vague is pretty boring. People tend to lose interest.