I've dealt with the past week and a half of this whole "not-running-on-an-injury" thing pretty well. Now, my resolve is wearing thin. I know, I know, runners are not like sharks - we don't die if we stop moving. That may be true in the most literal sense, but the similarities ends there. There is a emotional and social death that occurs when a runner is not running for more than a few consecutive days. Dramatic? Yes, but hear me out. When you run, you have lots of friends who run. When you can't run, you have to say "no" to doing things with friends (e.g. running and consuming beer post-run). You have to say "no" to running intervals on the Ws, to running 3-2-1s from the top of the Peak, and to running bottom to top. A "normal" person may think there's no loss there; a non-runner may even mock our misery with a flippant "ooh, you can't spend 4 hours running up a mountain." When your first Ascent is 2 weeks and 4 days away, the only thing on your mind is running up a mountain. I've wanted to run the Ascent since I first read about years ago, and I've been training and strategizing for months. I've read the official book on the history of the Pikes Peak Marathon for goodness sake!
Just to make my present agony clear, here's my current thought process: Ascent...work...Ascent...I am so not a biker...Ascent...my dog...Ascent...can I still call myself a runner if I haven't run in weeks...Ascent...Ascent...Ascent. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm not having the season I'm capable of and I likely will not run the Ascent time I was aiming for. I'll have to settle for just getting through it and train smarter next year. It's hard to keep everything in perspective and remember that there is a next year and then forty years after that if I'm lucky. As someone told me last week, the mountain was here before any of us and will be here long after we're gone.
Usually in the face of disappointment and uncertainty runners go for a run, come home tired and everything is magically less overwhelming. This is the emotional death I mentioned. I actually have to deal with the fact that I've run far from my best this year and I can't train harder to make up for it. I have to sit here and think about my disappointment instead of just run it away.
Enough complaining - now it's time to plan my next bike adventure. Mt Evans this Sunday, anyone? If we start in Idaho Springs it's something like 27 miles to the top. Should be fun, and I hear it's easier than Pikes!