Monday, October 22, 2012

Ultra running - Good or Evil

Has running become an “addiction?”

These are some signs of drug addiction that I changed “drug” to “running” just to see if it fits. BOY did it ever. I’ll let you read over and then I’ll go on.

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities 
  • You’re using running under dangerous conditions or taking risks while running
  • Your running is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.
  • You’ve built up a running tolerance. You need to run more or longer to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You’ve lost control over your running. You often run more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t.
  • Your life revolves around running. You spend a lot of time thinking about running, figuring out how to get a run in, and recovering from the effects of running.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies and socializing, because of your running.
  • You continue to run, despite knowing it’s hurting you. 
  • Isolation when previous nature was more outgoing, social – or vice versa.
  • Running activities without attention to rules, potential dangers, norms, laws
  • You are certain you can quit anytime (but, well, you can’t)
  • You hide it from others

     The highlighted sections are ones I am guilty of in one way or another and ones I have seen/heard the most about from other Ultra runners. I have seen many relationships get crushed from running including one of my own. (she ran and I was not “aloud to”) and it took its toll on our bond. I have seen/heard of many marriages, engagements, and just “dating” get broken apart because of running.  

     Now in saying that I need to say this to; I have see/heard of many relationships being formed because of running.

     I have been saying for months that my body needs a break (and it did) but I just keep going. I found one excuse or another to keep the miles high. I love running and love what it has done for me and over the past 2 weeks found that “old love” for running that I seem to have lost at some point, but in that hard time I had a lot of questions that I was looking into.

  • Do I really want to “be ULTRA” (as in keep running ultras)
  • Is running like this really healthy for me (after ending up in the ER)
  • Do I want to stop and start seeking out a relationship (being single for the past 17 months)
  • Has it become an “addiction” (as listed above)

     I do believe that it has become an addiction but knowing that now will help me make better decisions on what events I do and don’t want to participate in. These half cocked no aid for 20 miles in dangerous conditions no longer appeal to me. I would like to run a 100 miler next year but will take time off after or will this addiction get stronger and just keep going?

     I’m not trying to say that it is something bad to be “addicted” to running, but it can be if you let it take over your life and make poor decisions. Not spending the time you should with family and friends, doing dangerous things “in the name of running,” not letting your body heal after an event are all things I and many other runners need to look at.

     I have only been openly running Ultras sense January 7th 2011. I say openly because I ran a few Ultra distance runs and  events with very few people knowing. I still have a lot to learn and every time someone is willing to give me advice I try to soak it in and think on it for a while and see how it affects me personally.  I have gotten back to a place of “running for fun” and really don’t give a crap about times anymore. Truth be told I placed a lot better when I had no clue what a good time was or how I “should” be training and just went out and ran what I felt like doing.

     I have no more events of my own (planed) this year only pacing for friends and that will not be any easier but it is a different mental state when you are running as a pacer.  I enjoy it so much and it will help even more to bring be back to a place of the fun run.

     I do these blogs for my own benefit to look back on and maybe even have a story to pass on if for some reason I end up in another relationship wanting to have a child. I have noticed that there are a lot of people reading this blog for one reason or another. I do hope that you find them fun to read and maybe even learn take something away from it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

F.A.T.S 50k - Profound Thought

Andy and I before the run
     Running F.A.T.S was an eye opener for me. I used to be such a care free runner. Half cocked training and just doing what felt good. No real training plan just went out and did it. “Nutrition” what the hell is that? How many miles do you run a week? Hummm 20 maybe. What was your last 50k time? 4:54 or something like that. Have you ever read born to run? No I really don’t read about running I just do it.

     After FHT (Foothills Trail 77) I started rethinking how I should train, run, and eat, and so on. Everything I did or tried just messed me up more. I just like to run and do my thing and today it hit me I CAN’T run like people “expect” me to run. Yes I need to look at my water and food intake so I don’t crash, but turning it into my life or trying to do what others expect is just too much pressure. Being an RD and others expectations of how “good “I should do in an event has just turned running into something that is more than it should be for me.

     Going into F.A.T.S as a “training run” to see how my recovery has come along was the best thing I have ever done. I just ran with friends leading up to it. Did not stress about it or have some pre-run ritual. I just showed up and ran like I used to and guess what. I felt great and was running strong. I still don’t have the speed I once did but my body felt amazing. I “DNF” it but truthfully I just stopped at mile 26 feeling great in 4th 5th (ish) place. (You can never tell out there what place your really in because people will sometimes take the GW trail backwards I did it last year). I just stopped and ran to the finish turned my bib in and played with my puppy for a bit. I just stopped. I did not feel like running any more. 
One Day He Just Stopped

     Doug F. talked to me a bit before the run and his words of wisdom rang throughout my head the whole time. I am out there for the fun of it. I am out there just to run. I never cared before what place I was in or what my pace was or how many miles I had left. I was just out for a run. Once I ran 36 miles on a Saturday when I was planning to run 5. I just went out for a run and thought well never been down that road, never been up that hill, I wonder what is over there. I want to get back to that. I need to get back to that for my own good.

     Now a bit about the run and not so much my thoughts during the run. 5 minuets before the start time I had to go poo. So I started 4 minutes after everyone and another pulse to what happened today. I knew I would not be able to get 1st because of that all the pressure was off. Just ran with one pack then passed and ran with another pack. After about 8 miles I was running with another run just talking and enjoying the day. He told me how he had to take a break from Ultras for a bit but did not go into why. I’m glad I was running with him. He knew the trails so there was less of a chance for me to get lost. After mile 18ish when I knew I was good on my own I eased off and watched him run off. I was happy to get to meet him and hoping to maybe meet someone new when they ran up. No one ever came up so I hit the last aid station and sat around and talked with people for a bit. The trails were in great condition and the bike moguls really do a number on your legs.

     My thoughts in this are get back to the fun I once had. One Epic Run will be my last event as an RD. I do have so much fun doing it but again added stress. I don’t have any events of my own to run the rest of the year and it’s going to stay that way. I will pace Jason and Doug R. in there events and that will be it.

     I talked with Tim and Doug R. after the run and the things that told me just backed up how I have been feeling and I know without a doubt I am doing what’s best for me. Back to “fun”, back to running a 50k and doing a back hand spring across the finish. Back to Joe Running. 

Having Fun at Aid Station 3