Wednesday, July 1, 2009

where to from here?

i have been back in the running-world for 284 days. i am trying to remember what i was after with the return. i think mostly i was hoping to enjoy running again. i wanted to get past the barrier of my lack of fitness, and be able to take pleasure once again in efficiently cruising along mile after mile. the first few weeks did include discomfort, but they also included moments of hope. during those moments i could sense the possibility that i might be able to recover pleasurable-running. before i knew it, i had recovered it. i was able to put on the shoes, head out the door, and cruise the neighborhood in an enjoyable manner.

another motivation back in the beginning was the hope of marathoning. i hoped that i would be able to get fit enough to participate in marathons, and even envisioned marathoning as a possible hobby. a few weeks into running i started to include ultramarathoning into this hope. i am now in marathoning shape. i have a fitness level that is conducive to marathoning on a regular basis.

so now what? i still have much unexplored territory in the world of ultramathoning. my longest running adventure was the “frisco 50k”. i am now registered for a 9 hour and 11 minute event scheduled for 9.11.2009. i am dreaming of covering 50 miles on that day. i don’t want to be overly ambitious and soil the effort by pushing a pace that my body is not ready to maintain. i intend to employ a run:walk:run approach, but have yet to land conclusively on the strategic ratio. i am presently leaning towards 10 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking. i would like to cover 35 to 36 miles in a training run between now and that event. in my training i have been taking a break from walk segments. i am wanting to train my legs to be able to run for hours without requiring a shift to walking.

i have a concern, and that is what is motivating me to process these thoughts. the concern: speed-ambition. part of me wants speed. i want to go fast. at the same time i am not wanting my desire for speed to destroy my enjoyment of running. i am pretty sure that speed-ambition has caused me issues in the past with regards to my affection for running. and subsequently contributed to me walking away from running in the past. somehow i have latched onto the goal of boston qualifying. i am still hopeful that my body will likely take shape in such a manner that i will be able to boston qualify in the future. my concern is that i think that if i do not employ patience and just enjoy the journey, i will possible drain the pleasure of out of my running-life once again.

my speed-ambition gets even more extreme than just boston qualifying. in the midst of watching the boston marathon and the london marathon i started to envision the possibility of me being able to run at the pace of some of the elite female marathoners. now that is ambitious.

i need help. i feel like i am on the verge of moving into territory that could once again shipwreck my running-life. is there a way that i can just set these ambitious goals to the side and let my running fitness develop as it will? can i just be patient regarding these matters? can i just appreciate being a runner and not put an excessive amount of value upon my potential to perform in races? i want to say “no need for speed”, but i also know that part of me enjoys speed – there is something amazing about experiencing the legs turning over in a fast manner. so i don’t feel like i am wanting to swing totally away from speed. i am feeling betwixt and at-risk. i am not wanting ambition to destroy rob-the-runner.
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