Ah July. My crabby cancer friends feel me. Wowsa!
Humour me for a bit as I download the contents of my rumination that has been bouncing about in my brain for the past month.
I blame birthdays, they make you crazy and philosophical and annoyingly introspective.
Maybe I’m having a midlife crisis, I do turn 40 next year so it would be right on time. And I just had a birthday (did I mention that already?!)
The general unplanned focus of this month can be summarised in one simple thought.
“Life is short, but it is also long, if you are lucky. So how do you work out how to live your life?”
Do you do like Courtney, smashing every dream race into the one summer and hoping to survive or more like athletes like Ruth Croft who pick one race and target that.
The average life expectancy for a woman in Australia is about 85 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Which if you do the basic math, means I have about 45 summers left and unless I’m able to run long distances after 60 (and make the cut offs!), I probably have more like 25 summers left, which if I manage the miracle of no injuries or health set backs, is 25 summer trail races.
That’s not that many and that is probably best case scenario if everything goes perfectly and that’s not really how life goes!
So why, (other than the obvious mid life crisis angle) am I bringing this up now?
Well Dear Reader, there seems to be a confusing dichotomy infesting the internet at the moment or at least on the internet that the algorithm is feeding me.
On one hand it’s carpe diem, you only live once, do all the things, run all the races, squeeze as much out of life as you can because you don’t know when it could all end, and on the other hand you have the slow down crowd with their “there’s no rush” attitude, going about life and training the “mature” way, slowly increasing mileage, not over doing it, saying “there’s always another race you don’t need to get attached to this one”.
I don’t want an injury, I want to keep running every day, but what if I don’t get another chance! Life can change on a dime, you could slip on something tomorrow and never run again.
Should you run and train like you might not run ever again, or train like you are going to live forever?
Welcome to my brain in July!
I’ve had plenty of time to think and obsess this month. I’ve been home by myself, no work, no people, not a whole lot going on for the majority of the month.
The house was quiet, no TV or radio, no fuss, I went about my business with no one to take notice. It’s been a while since this has been the case, a long while, my brain was not prepared.
Since I started running races, the Gold Coast Marathon festival on the first weekend of July has been a bit of a constant. I haven’t made it every year but quite a few. I ran my first marathon there on my 30th birthday, I got married there, I’ve set PR’s there. It’s been hard to let go of as my priorities moved to trail races.
There are so many posts on this blog dedicated to my adventures at GCM.
As I watched the fun from afar this year, I got caught by a bit of FOMO and signed up for Run Melbourne, thinking I would like to try to run fast. But it was only two weeks later and I was still on the rehab wagon trying to fix my post UTA knee niggle.
I had been doing all the right things, being patient, doing the activation exercises and the basic strength work, I didn’t want to risk it for a race that wasn’t exactly in line with my goals and values. So I bailed on the race and went looking for mushrooms and flowers on a trail run instead.
I planned out my calendar a bit more and focused on the things that I really want to do. I set up savings goals and training goals to make these races happen.
I went to the osteo, the myo and even got a running analysis assessment done (more on that later).
I hiked on the treadmill and added mountain legs to the end of each run.
I kept my running consistent, increasing my run walk each week by 500m. I started at 1km/2min walk and now I’m up to 3km/2 min walk for all runs over 6k.
I logged about 70k each week. No big weeks, no small weeks, consistent.
This month I’m most grateful for having the means to buy fresh healthy food and to seek physical support services if I want. These things are expensive and in this economy certainly considered luxuries.
I’m most proud of keeping the focus on my goals and values and not lettting the internet and random strangers trick me into buying stuff I don’t want, running races I don’t want to and rushing back when I’m not ready.
I didn’t work out what do to about the endless list of races and places I want to visit and the dwindling amount of time and money I have to do them, but I’m turning 40 next year, I’m sure I’ll continue this mid life crisis until then at least. Pray for me friends!
Next month: Peaks and Trails 50k baby! Let’s do this!