It’s now been a little over 2 weeks since my drop at North Face. In those 16 days there have been moments of regret, moments where I wondered if I really did the right thing, and mostly moments where I just had to have faith and not let myself consider anything other than the thought that I did the right thing.
I took a full 9 days off of running and exercise. I was anxious, but nervous to start again. Nervous to know if I was going to be injured even though I did drop, but very anxious (and hopeful!) to know it was worth it.
I trusted my instincts on December 1st, more so than I ever have before in my running. My instinct told me to stop running, that continuing wasn’t worth it, that if I pushed on I might pay for it with an injury. I thought about the finish line of AR50 and how overwhelmingly happy I was. But more than that, I thought about those weeks that followed when I couldn’t run and how I promised myself I would never do that again, that no race or finish line was ever worth that.
I have now run 5 times (all short and easy) since the race and have been to ART twice, all with great results. Saturday, on my first time back on the trails, I knew 100% that I made the right choice. As I was running in the crisp December morning, gazing at the beautiful bright green hills, I just couldn’t imagine not being able to be back out there just because I was stubborn enough to cross a finish line.
As much as I do run in the moment, one thing I have learned this year is I will always be thinking a little bit about tomorrow’s run. Because as important as today’s run is, being able to run tomorrow is just as, if not more, important to me.
For now, I am happily enjoying this little down time and enjoying every beautiful second I get to run. I am making fun plans to explore the hills with my friends, in races and on our own, but mostly I am looking forward to following whatever adventures my instincts, heart and running shoes want to take me on next.