We had just mounted the Tepui Tent on top of our car and gotten in our first good weekend of camping when Colorado got slammed with rain and gray skies like I've never seen here before. We've come to expect that the weather could change at any minute, which is why it was so odd that it stayed the same for so long. The same angry, bland sky devoid of any sun. It's become tedious even talking about the weather because it's old news and everyone is over it.
In the meantime I found a new appreciation for road running and hiking. I got a new pair of road shoes, the Pearl Izumi Road N3 and they are simply the best road shoes I have ever owned - and I'm not exaggerating! I used to dread pounding the pavement but the last few weeks I actually looked forward to strapping on my N3s. The other thing I usually dread is waking up early and, with a new-found running buddy named Courtney who is up for any adventure, I've come to really enjoy dawn patrol. I've made it my goal to do Mt. Morrison once a week in preparation for The Rut 50k and Morrison has got 2,000 feet of elevation gain in two miles. It's a lot easier to wake up at 4am when you have someone to run/hike with.
The other week, Courtney and I were talking and I was thinking about the kind of person I used to be. When I think back to the person I was in high school, I really don't like that girl. I remember going to bed and thinking that I hated the person I was but didn't have a clue who I wanted to become. At some point I snapped out of it and became determined to live every day as the person I wanted to be. I decided not to be controlled by regret: to stop worrying about things that had passed and to start dreaming about what was in the future.
In April when I wrote about feeling burned out, a lot of well-meaning friends tried to encourage me by saying, "It will pass," or, "It's just the winter blues." And they were right. Sometimes, though, I think it's important to take stock of why you are feeling certain things instead of trying to push them away and just get over it. When things feel forced and you spend every day feeling like you are doing battle, sometimes you need to reassess what your goals are. Are your current actions taking you to a place you want to be?
If my goals include wanting to push my legs to their physical limit, wanting to see and enjoy as many beautiful trails as possible, and overall spending as much time outside as I can manage, then racing early and often is maybe not the best approach. For example, it is a beautiful Memorial Day and I am lucky enough to have the day off. Am I outside running and exploring? No, because I have a race next weekend and I am tapering. I'm really excited to challenge myself at that race but it comes with consequences.
I'll still race next year but I am trying to commit to not doing any races between January and April. This means that our winter can be spent snowshoeing or doing fun runs with friends instead of having a certain number of miles to get in on any given day. I hope this prevents the Spring burnout from happening again. I'll also try to do less racing to free up more weekends to camp and explore the high country in the summer months. Maybe we'll finally get to knock off the Gore Range Trail and do some of the traverses we have been charting but won't have enough time to fit in between racing.
I've learned to embrace being in a funk. Some would call these periods "valleys." I've decided that I like going uphill. And hopefully this will be the last of the emotional posts of the year and I'll be sharing lots more race reports and adventures.
Lots of rain
And a few good sunrises