thank you for all the awesome comments yesterday and thank you to all the new commenters! i hope to be catching up with you soon
sometimes i have things going on in my head that i don’t really want to blog about just because my ideas seem a little crazy. then every time i do, or i reach out to another runner, i am always surprised that they know exactly how i feel. it may not be the exact same circumstance, but somehow runners just seem to relate to each other.
i feel like i have been having almost an identity crisis when it comes to running lately. i have all these goals overlapping each other, but not really working completely together. for the first time in a while, i don’t have a straight forward hard goal like a 3:40 marathon and i just feel like i have been running around a little lost.
don’t get me wrong, i am REALLY glad i have had december and january to just run and not worry about my paces or miles or any of that. it was really good for me after a year of constant training, but it’s just not really who i am, i need a goal and a schedule. discovering trail running has been great for me, when i get out on the trails i don’t really care about my time, pace, miles… i can just run when i am out there.
so where i am finding the conflicts?
being a marathoner, and now discovering trail running, immediately the idea of an ultra-marathon popped into my head. well, it has actually been there for a long time, but i was never sure if i would like the trails or not. i have spend countless hours searching every running website for a race in california that would fit in to what i already had planned. a couple stood out to me, and i was very close to signing up. one was march 20th (very soon) and one was april 18th (the weekend before big sur) and i know i COULD do either of them, but the SHOULD i is the bigger question. i had started to stress myself out, making training schedules for these races, trying to plan out how i would get out on the trails enough hours to make it happen, and really it was just making me crazy.
at the same time i was looking at my road racing calendar, i have a half marathon coming up that holds my PR, plus i have road marathons i don’t want to suck at. i also just want to get faster in general. i do still love running on the roads. after CIM the pain of racing a hard marathon was a little too fresh, but now that it has died down some, i am craving the need to get faster and race hard again. i want to start working hard and doing speed work and get out there to push myself.
then i have my next marathon coming up which is a hard marathon and i definitely won’t be PRing at. so how do i train for this thing? how do i just go out and train without specifics? i have never trained for a marathon not trying to be faster.
so how do you balance fast road racing and trail ultra-marathoning? i have NO idea – does anyone? i have heard this happens also to triathletes with triathlons and road racing, you kind of have to give up one or the other and decide which one is the main goal and put the other one on hold for a little while.
so what i have decided?
after talking with chris and some friends (even though most of them said i could do both a very soon 50k and the marathon) i was able to come to some decisions that i am very happy with.
first, i decided to shelf the 50k for a little while. march 20th is just too soon, and i don’t want to risk hurting myself by running my first 50k april 18th and then running a marathon the next weekend, let alone the other things i have planned in may. one will be out there, and it will work out, but there is no need to force it right now and hurt myself. i am so new to trail running, i still want to enjoy it and i want to see it as my outlet when i get sick of the roads and just want to go running. i don’t want to stress about getting the miles in and i need to get out there and be more comfortable with it first anyways.
i also had an epiphany when it comes to training for my marathons this year. sure i don’t expect to PR at big sur marathon, i will most likely be running that one with my camera and just soaking up the experience, but it doesn’t mean i don’t have to train like i am trying to PR. if i want to run a faster marathon in december at CIM, why not start training at those paces now? or at least start working towards them. it won’t happen overnight, so might as well get going on it now.
so here i am in the 2nd week of my standard 12 week training schedule. again it’s based off of the pfitz 12/55 schedule, but i have tweaked it to make it my own. i added another day of running and have changed up a couple things, but it feels REALLY good to have a schedule up on the fridge again. i am happy, i feel content and i am excited for what is coming up.
don’t worry, i am still going to be on the lookout for that perfect first 50k, i know it’s out there and i know i will find it. i still plan on other trail races, and doing trail running whenever i can, i just have to figure out the balance for me before moving on from there. i love running, i love training and i want to have fun with it without getting in over my head and burning myself out.
do you find conflicts in your goals and training? how do you figure out how to balance it all?