Well, it’s been a proper year since I DNS’d my 50 Miler at Rocky Raccoon. I’ve mourned. I’ve eaten my emotions, I’ve felt not-enough, I’ve murdered my own confidence, and I’ve very sufficiently lost myself. And that stops now.
Sometimes, you have to send out a hail Mary, so here is mine. I’m going to run the 50k at the Green Ultra, put on by First Light Racing.
So, how did I get here? How did I go almost a full year without finishing a major race, gain 15lbs, quit my coach, and given up on what makes me who I am? It’s easy. I did it to myself. I punked myself out, and felt unworthy. I allowed that unworthiness to fester. I probably blamed others, and made excuses for my sudden lack of training after the DNS. I got scared. My impostor syndrome did not creep in; It boarded this ship like those Pirates in that Tom Hanks movie… Fake Lisa took over, told me she was real, and that she was the captain now. And I fucking let her. This decision systematically broke me down.
Remember the year I had? I was accepted to be a TROT Ambassador. I love TROT and the entire group, but because I had lost my running mojo, I never allowed myself to truly feel part of the team. That is my fault, and no one else’s. I hid at races, too afraid to engage with runners I saw as super elite compared to me. In effect, I did everything that Ambassadors are supposed to help people AVOID.
I had the single coolest, kindest, most understanding running coach in the history of ever, and I broke up with her, because I couldn’t justify the expense when I wasn’t putting in the effort. This decision spiraled into allowing myself to fully and completely give up on running.
Last year, I PR’d my 5k time by A LOT… like, 5 mins or something. I was faster, leaner, more confident than I’ve been my entire life, and I just let it all go. Over one race.
But it wasn’t one race. As you read in my previous posts, that race was supposed to be a cleansing after a shit few weeks, shit year, and shit experiences. You see, I was using running like a drug. When it failed me (I failed it), I was angry. I didn’t have the energy to fight anything anymore, so I sank into mediocrity. I used excuses like, “I need to be a more present mom”, “I should be around my family more”, etc. to allow myself the right to quit on my dreams. I hid behind a veil of normalcy, forgetting every lesson that running has taught me, and the process made me hate myself more and more.
So, today, I quit. I quit quitting, and I quit excuse-ing, and I quit lying to myself. I’ve signed up for a 50k that I will most likely have to really suffer through just to finish, and that is ok. The suffering is what I miss, and I know that finish will reignite a flame I miss dearly. I know I’ll find myself in the woods, because I always do. I know my husband will understand my time away, and be proud of me. He always is. I know being a trail runner makes me a better mom, and I know I owe these crazy adventures to myself, and to the people in my life. And I know that I am not ready, and that is what makes it beautiful.