Boston vs. An Ultra

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend and a wonderful training week last week. Me? I had a cough. Every. Single. Day. I tried to ignore it but dear hubby kept telling me to go to the doctor. It wasn't the worst cough in my life and ironically, it quieted when I slept. So I spent the week sleeping more and running slower but still getting pretty darn close to my target mileage. (I got to 39 miles - goal is 40 miles a week.) Come Saturday morning though I figured, yes, I should go to the doctor. After running 2.5 miles at the gym I stopped and called to make a doctor appointment. It wasn't going to be with my regular doctor but I assumed I would be just fine. I realized I had some extra time before the appointment and ran another 2 miles. Darling daughter said I shouldn't tell the doctor that. 

All in all, the doctor said my lungs are just in a cycle and I need to get them to relax. He gave me a breathing treatment and that ache between my back shoulder blades magically went away. Oh...so that very dull ache was my lungs? Go figure. In all reality, I am not that bad. Just a little bit not perfect and he gave me the green light to continue with my running. I think he was happy to hear I was making sure I was getting extra sleep and running slower. Woo-hoo for doctor approved runs!

But come Sunday I was debating....do I still do my previously scheduled long run of 13.1 miles or do I run easier at home. I had been tracking a friend chasing her 100 mile dream all day Saturday and into Sunday morning. When I saw she was just 5K from her dreams coming true and darling daughter said she didn't want to move her balloons for me to run inside, I ran outside. Darling daughter really wanted me to. And what else could I do? I wanted to support this lady who inspired me to run daily and what better way than to get outside running when she was taking her final steps to making a dream come true. She did it by the way. CONGRATS SHELLY!!!

As I started my run I wasn't sure how far I would go. I only grabbed one gel but as I ran on I decided I still wanted to run that half marathon. Yes, I typically take two gels but I will do it on one. (I ended up running 13.42 miles.) And I spent a lot of time praying for Shelly and trying to send the wind to her back. And I pondered. My mind was on everything except my pace.

I pondered a lot about goals and chasing dreams. I chased my dream to break a 4:20 marathon and succeeded after a few years. It was a good journey and I enjoyed the process. I am now on the journey to break a 4:00 marathon and I hope that journey isn't three years. I am really hoping to achieve it come this December but only time will tell. But that got me to thinking.

I don't know about you but I tend to have more than one running goal/hope/dream bumping around in my mind. As I cheered Shelly on across the Pacific Ocean and a good portion of the United States I pondered my goal to run an ultra. I would love to do this one day. I have checked the races here and my choices are limited. Traveling to races across the ocean is darn expensive. And let's think about training. The time to train for an ultra and getting myself out on some trails. Yes, it is all doable. I know it is. But is it where I should be right now as I juggle a full-time job, limited hubby-wife time, and an undying desire to be with my daughter every second of every day to savor every precious moment? She is my best cheerleader and I know she will support me and she is pretty good at pushing me out of the door for long runs but getting that one road run once a week is challenging enough. Don't get me wrong. I am not giving up on my dream but right now, will the journey be what I want it to be?

Or do I focus on continuing to cut down my marathon time? Do I chase a Boston qualifying time? Over a year ago I said never but as my time is coming down, do I commit to this chase? If you are anything like me, or if you have figured me out, once I achieve breaking a 4:00 marathon you know I will set another goal and raise that bar a little higher. Is this the path I am to follow? To continue to get faster and see just how fast I can get? I am getting older each year but that isn't a reason to give up.

The thing is, I asked myself which goal would hurt me the most if I didn't achieve it since both are in my mind. And yes, I can work on both. I see that. I can focus on one now (perhaps finding my best marathon) and another later (you know, train for that ultra once darling gets a bit older). I just don't know if that is my plan. All I do know is this....what I would feel the worst about is not being able to run tomorrow. That thought brings a heaviness to my heart that failing to achieve either of my dreams doesn't bring. And that is good.

I want to keep the love of running in my life. That is what makes me happy. I have my dreams and I will continue to push forward but the journey needs to be enjoyable as well. The journey is the biggest part of the dream. It takes days, years, commitment to achieve big goals and what is the value in all of that if the journey is miserable?

We each have one life and my advice would be....make it the best you can make it. Enjoy what you are doing. Chase your goals and don't be pulled into chasing a dream that really isn't yours...you know, a dream you feel you should have since it matters to so many others or so many people tell you that you should. 

You see, does qualifying for Boston really matter to me or is it tempting me since the race is prestigious and saying you qualified may make you feel like a "real" runner? I am a real runner no matter how fast I run. I don't need to be labeled by someone else. None of us do. Does that mean I won't try to qualify? Let's wait to see how I feel once I break that 4:00 marathon.

Talk to you later!

This post will be linked to the #bestfoot link up through Run to the Finish,The Adventures of a Darwinian Fail, and The Sweet Life with Ericka. I love this link up and each week strive to find at least one new lady to support! Jump on over and find some awesomeness and add your own!

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful that Shelly achieved her dreams! I can't wait to hear what is next on her plate.
Daily Affirmation: I am a real runner.

1 comment:

  1. That is a Tough one! Because Both Goals are amazing!! I don't think you can go wrong either way in my books, I think it is just important to enjoy the journey


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