It’s been a while since my last blog post. To be honest, since deciding to switch back to short distance trail racing after Mesquite Canyon, I’ve struggled to find my voice. Do people really want to read a race recap about a 40-60 minute race? Am I still a trail runner if I am only racing short distances. As to the former, you’ll have to be the judge of that: as to the latter, I believe the answer is unequivocally yes. And that brings us to the subject of this blog post.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I have Fibromyalgia. While it does not define me, it does limit me. And let me tell you, I rebel against this concept every single day. I like to believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. And while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that I SHOULD do everything I put my mind to. Take for instance, the big word- ultramarathon. Which means, anything beyond 26.2 miles. Could I do an ultramarathon race and finish? I believe that I absolutely COULD. But, that doesn’t mean that I SHOULD. When I’m being truly honest with myself, I know that the aftermath of pushing my body to that place, would be brutal. Fibromyalgia flare-ups are not fun. Fatigue, headaches and migraines, pain- as in, the feeling that your nerves are on fire; it’s all there. And pushing myself past the point of no return could send me into a spiral that I would struggle to get out of. But, I can still enjoy the ultramarathon world by participating in other ways. Take the Javelina Jundred – I’ll be crewing and pacing a friend as she races this event for the fourth straight year. And let me tell you, if you haven’t been a part of this event yet in one form or another, you really should- it’s a blast!
So, that being said, I don’t race ultramarathons. And as of recently, I am officially a short- distance trail runner. And herein lies my struggle. I’ve read countless Facebook posts on trail and ultrarunning boards from people stating that you aren’t REALLY a trail runner until you have done a 50k, or a 50 mile, or … But I disagree. I think that anyone who has the courage to step out onto the trails and go for a run is a trail runner, whether they even race or not. It’s time to stop belittling our accomplishments and embrace how truly great we are and can be. And if you do choose to race, it doesn’t matter if you are up on that podium or dead last. By challenging and pushing yourself to toe that line, you are accomplishing things that most never even dare to consider.
As for me, I’ve found that I am better at the shorter races. (In fact, I won the short-distance race I ran right after Mesquite). And the training for the shorter distances is much more conducive to a work-from-home wife and mom who is homeschooling a 1st grader who spends 5 hours in karate classes on Saturdays. But I’ve also found that I really enjoy racing the shorter distances, especially now that I am actually training for them.
And so, stay tuned here for many more race recaps – of short distance races. While I can’t guarantee that they will be any shorter to read than those from my longer races, hopefully they will be just as enjoyable.
**Special Thanks to Squirrel’s Nut Butter for keeping me stocked with anti-chafe, healing lube, to Aravaipa Running for putting on such great races, to Acel Compression socks for keeping my feet and legs healthy, and to Honey Stinger for giving me fuel to run. And always to my husband and son who encourage me to reach for my dreams.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free or at a discount. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”