I’m experiencing mixed emotions right now.
This header image was taken from the top of Mt. Eddy, where I was happy to run/hike today, bagging my first Eddy summit of 2018. I’m bummed because of all the smoke you see in the background.
That smoke canceled SOB, a race I was really excited about. But, ultimately, I understand it was the best decision for runner safety.
***Read last year’s SOB 50k Race Report ***
Nearby wildfires (literally hundreds) closed off a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that made up a substantial portion of the race. They could have re-routed, but the smoke was unavoidable.
In my four years spent living in northern California, and five in the Pacific Northwest including my year in Washington, this is nothing new. Pretty much every summer, this place fills with smoke.
In fact, I just wrote about my partner getting evacuated from his home in another fire in my last post: happy to be alive
I remember last August, the smoke was so thick in the forest surrounding Waldo 100k that it was impossible to “find Waldo” from either Fuji or Maiden summit.
And then, many of my local ultra buddies mourned the cancellation of 2017’s Pine to Palm 100 for the same, smokey reason.
But I’m feeling extra weird about this cancelation.
Because I feel like it means something.
I should point out that I tend to read too deeply into situations and interpret them as messages from the Universe.
I am a white bitch, after all.
At the beginning of 2018, I set the intention to be less competitive about my running. The thing is, I wasn’t sure what I even meant by that.
I did know I wanted to focus on making running more about fun and less about times, paces, or ranking.
But I still wanted to improve.
2017 was my best race year, yet. I set PRs, crushed goals, and explored new places. I also became much more serious about my training. Following a plan made by my coach or the internet quickly made me realize that less is more in the weeks leading up to race day.
I would say no to the grueling extra long runs I deeply love because I had to keep my legs fresh. I would find myself recovering from a race and having only a week or two of fun before the next taper.
(For my non-runner readers, tapering is when you cut back on training before a race.)
Long story short- I felt like running an ultra every 6 weeks or so kiiiiiinda cramped my style.
I learned about SOB being canceled from my running bestie, Linn. She dropped the news before our track workout this week and almost made me cry.
Almost immediately, she asked if I was going to register for another race. Jason asked the same thing.
“I don’t know if I want to,” was my response to both.
SOB is the second planned race that didn’t happen for me this year. The first was Way Too Cool, which I was snowed in for.
I had a shitton of fun at Paiute Meadows 50k this spring, but am wondering if another race is really what I need?
***Read my Paiute Meadows 50k Race Report ***
I’m also on the wait list for Mountain Lakes 100, which I was hoping to be my first 100-miler. Now, I’m just feeling not so sure.
Maybe I just want to do what I did today- run up a gorgeous mountain then swim in an alpine lake right in my own backyard? Maybe I want to save my money on race fees and instead, take road trips to scope out trails and peaks I haven’t run before?
“Oh, so you just want to run?” Jason asked.
Exactly. I just want to run.
That’s what I say now, but you all know I’m probably going to end up at Headwaters again ;)