In theory, as per my "plan" from six or seven months ago, I would've run like about 20 races by this point in the year, but instead I haven't run a single one.
Backtracking to the end of last November-ish when I got back to being able to run a whopping 30 (slow) kinda-pain-free-if-I-worked-really-hard-to-convince-myself minutes a day, I gleefully conjured up an exciting (I'd say epic, but that's currently the most overused word in the English language, so I will settle for exciting. Exciting to me, anyway.) first half of the year for 2015, starting with some rinky-dink-local-yocal 5k here in town last February, then US XC later that month, then maybe some road whatever stuff in the spring, then all of my favorites: Black Canyon, then Mt. Washington, Pikes Peak, maybe a couple other new ones in there for good measure, and of COURSE Zermatt (even though they don't fund a women's team to go over there worth diddly-squat. Only the men. But that's a sore spot that I'm still salty about and I'm still not over it even though I'm not even going. But we're just going to move on for the time being and do like everyone else and *pretend* like it's all FINE and dandy and not a bunch of B.S. Ok, I'm done.).
But basically there wasn't really much of a plan beyond my "plan" of somehow--despite training at a fraction of the level of last year--making everything go even better this time around. I mean, just because I bungled up my foot pretty solidly last year and took like five months off then spent about three more months joggy-jogging around about 10 miles a week and yet it STILL was taking its sweet time, I could still magically make myself have some magical year and an even more magical summer of running up mountains. Right? Right! And what with about a month of legitimate training under my belt come July, of COURSE I could still have a fantastic first-ever marathon experience in Switzerland! Hoo-rah! Never say die!
Yes, I lovingly nurtured all of these plans and ideas (plans that I have come to accept as being maybe just slightly delusional and not terribly realistic or reasonable, but I was desperate and operating in survival mode) in much the same way I that I would lovingly nurture, say, a bunch of helpless little kittens, in the hopes of seeing them grow into fluffy, happy little cats.
(I apologize for the cat analogies. I really am not a cat lady, but if you have not noticed, the "kittens" are a metaphor here for basically all of my hopes and dreams.)
But now, I feel like I've abandoned them all; cold, starving, shivering and pitifully mewling, in a burlap sack by the side of the road. That actually makes me sort of teary-eyed to think about.
It hasn't been by choice so much; the abandoning of my metaphorical kittens. I mean I guess in part it was by choice to save my sanity, not so much by choice if I wanted to be back to 100% instead of being stuck in a perpetual state of maybe like 70% at best and feeling like some as*hole lit my foot on fire.
I think I definitely could have sucked it up better than I decided to a few weeks ago and put together some remote semblance of what I had wanted to do this year. But, aside from the fact that things were not exactly firing on all cylinders, I grudgingly had to admit to myself that running was not exactly giving me warm-fuzzies anymore--like it normally almost always does--as a result. It was like the Dementors from Harry Potter had sucked the joy out of it. It wasn't so much the act of just going out running that was ridiculously un-fun, that was perfectly fine, but rather trying to adhere to an actual schedule with actual goals and actual anticipated results. That was totally not happening however hell-bent I was on making it happen, foot was keeping a tight leash on things, and quite frankly it was pissing me off.
So one fine day while I'm sure I was probably bemoaning my current frustrations to my/everyone's favorite local PT/Mountain Runner Extraordinaire Simon, wondering aloud why why why isn't everything clicking back together on my schedule because ain't nobody got time for this, in his always-wise words he informed me (or scolded me, it's hard to say), "You can't tell Time that it's time!"
That's one of my favorite things about picking Simon's brain. Aside from giving great PT advice as his day-job, he is one of the few "runner-advisor" types that I've ever met who doesn't make you feel like just because things are not happening how you want them to and at the rate you want them to right now, that they never will, and that there is always more time if you are patient enough. So basically you can go in there totally flipping your sh*t over something, and leave practically floating on an enchanted, peaceful sea of tranquility. He is the Runner Whisperer and I am very grateful for his presence and perspective.
Anyway, after my little visit that day to the Runner Whisperer and after my grudging admission of the fact that actual training was not remotely enjoyable nor was it really going anywhere, I scrapped all of my plans.
Abort mission. Abandon ship. Abandon....kittens.
So on one hand, it sort of sucked to admit that all the awesome stuff that I had been anticipating to happen the last few months and upcoming few months are likely not going to happen. And it also sucked, to say the least, to give up a spot on the team to Switzerland. But at the same time in a weird way it was kind of admittedly a huge relief. I'm not really under any illusion that anyone except for me would've cared if I ran like crap at any of those races anyway, but I care. A few people suggested just going to races "for fun," but that sort of would've felt to me like I shortchanged myself, either I want to do it as best I can or not really at all. Maybe that's the wrong attitude but whatever.
So since a few weeks ago when I decided to go all Princess Elsa and Let It Go, I've been kind of amazed how quick stuff seems to have started to FINALLY turn around and head in a way better direction. It's been a few months, but I feel like I can finally say that without knocking on wood. Regardless of the fact that there are no big plans on the immediate horizon (yet), I think I have found my kittens.