Since JFK I have gone through a huge range of mindsets related to training. I went through the post race high, through what I thought was enlightenment, I went through some negativity, I have felt exhaustion, felt like I will never get my speed back again, and wondered what on earth I do this all for in the first place and how I ended up where I am after the past few years of racing.
I definitely don't have an answer to that last one but I have been analyzing it. Trying to figure out what I want to do with running and why I think I want to do it in the first place. The past few years it feels like my schedule laid itself out for me. It all seemed logical and I just followed the path. Now it doesn't feel so certain.
I found myself putting distances on my schedule just because it was what I did last year. I have no idea why I put a 70.3 on the schedule. I didn't even enjoy my first one that much. I enjoyed the training and I liked knowing that if I wanted to I could go longer. But you know what. I didn't want to go longer in the tri, and I still don't. Dreaming about being an Ironman or racing a killer 70.3 is one thing. Actually wanting to do it is a completely different thing. Just because I could be good at it doesn't mean I have to want it.
As for running I think I found out training for the ultras that I don't need to be fast to enjoy running. A 4-6 hour trail run at 12 minute pace is just as fufilling to me as a 3:30 marathon. But as much as I enjoy the longer ultra runs I know that right now I don't feel fit. I feel slow and I don't like it at all. I am not entirely sure this is because I actually want to be faster or because I feel like I should be or have to be.
Something keeps me striving towards being a better marathoner. I know with proper training that I could probably run under 3:15 in the next few years, and because I know that I feel like I have to strive towards that. But I honestly don't even know if that's what I want, or if that is what I have been influenced to think I want.
At the end of the day does it really matter if I never BQ again? Does it matter if I never compete in another triathlon? Does it matter if I run 100 miles or complete an Ironman? Does not accomplishing those things take away from everything else I have achieved? It shouldn't.
All these random thoughts have been rolling around in my head so I am hoping to air some of them on the blog. Prepare for some possibly incoherent rambling in the upcoming weeks!