The 2021 racing season has wrapped up for me and it really was not the season I wanted. Two Did not Finishes or DNF’s for the only two 50k’s I did this year. One of which I can get my head around, I badly strained the big toe on my right foot after having it hyper extended in my martial arts class back in June, taking a kick to the toe will do that. The first race though revealed a bigger problem.
I have been an athlete since High School and have always had a nagging performance anxiety that went away once I started competing. This year, for whatever reason, it wrecked my 50k. Call it a lack of sleep, call it getting older call it whatever, I got too into my head and after 17 miles, my mind, body and spirit were not in allignment and I dropped a race.
I think there is a better answer though. I got into long distance running 12 years ago to run off my attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) after completly fucking up my first career as a minister. After using a combination of running, dietary changes and medications, I would go on to get a second master’s degree in mental health counseling, rebuild my career and get after life. In 10 years, I have run somewhere between 40 and 50 ultra endurance (32+ miles) foot races and scores of smaller 5k- half marathons, a number of 12 hour endurance challenges and numerous endurance bike events – in a word, I am tired. I also realize that I am a place where life is relatively stable and my ADHD is not a huge problem anymore. My kids are growing up and one has already left the house for college. Endlless training cycles have taken me away from the home far too much and I really don’t want to miss any more.
Does this mean that I am done? Not really, I am going to take a year off from 50k running. I am still going to train and I have some cool projects coming up. One of these projects is completing a thru bike of the C and O/GAP trail from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh. I have a big endurance event through GORUCK that I will do and a number of endurance bikes and 25k’s are also on the list. Many of these experiences will allow my family to be with me in some capacity.
I got COVID 19 at the end of September and it knocked me out for a month. I end 2021 with 2,000.8 + human powered miles. Good times, riches and sons of a bitches, I have seen more than I can recall.
or put more eloquently by Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”.
2022 is looking like this:
GO Ruck Triple Basic – July 15
Endurance Runs 25k+:
Dirty Snowflake 4 hour – January 23
Rabid Raccoon – 20 miler – March 19
Allegheny Adventure Run -27 k – April 30
Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic – 25k –
Cooks Forest Highland Scramble – 14 miler
Conquer the Castle – 20 miler
Gravel/Road Adventure Rides:
Parker Dam Gravel – 54 miles – May 14
Roughneck Grabel Roubaix – 40 miles – May 28
Shake out ride on the Pine Creek Trail – 2 day ride
July 3-9 Ride from Pittsburgh – Washington DC on the GAP/C and O trail
Chatauqua Gran Fondo 68 miles August 20