Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Racing for mental health.

You know...I walked away after writing yesterday feeling...blah.  I couldn't figure out why the words weren't coming to me and why I was just not feeling like my usual excited-to-run-and-write self.  About halfway through my day it dawned on me.  I was feeling uninspired.  I have been feeling uninspired and it makes sense when I look at it.

      Since running the West Rim trail (yes, I'll ramble a bit more about it), it has really set in just how disappointed I am with my time and effort.  I know that I can go faster--much faster--and I want to go back--I need to go back and make it right; if for no other reason than to settle my mind.  I also realized that my running has been rather stagnant.  I have been feeling a bit like a hamster on a wheel; the same commute, the same day repeating at work, the same run in the morning, the same textbook night in and out. Yes, I realize that's how studying works and that there are many places to run around near where I live, but between working, commuting, and filling all the other waking hours with studying, gyming, and running, it doesn't leave too much time for exploring--hence that oh-so-stagnant feeling of blah.

    I let my running fall into the same routine as work, so it began to feel like work.  Running never feels like work--it's what has always gotten me away from work! I also realized that I haven't raced since last October.  Well, hot damn, that's longer than I thought.  I put so much thinking into the 50 miler and the West Rim that I never once looked around at smaller check-in races.

    I think races qualify as mental health.  I don't mean the reward of winning, or even placing for that matter.  But the simple notion of being surrounded by the craziness that is trail running and the people that love it makes for a wonderful experience.  I started to forget what that felt like, and after seeing some race photos from this year's Uberendurance Sports Dirty German, I forgot how damn much I missed racing.  Not so much that race maybe, but being out exploring new trails, meeting new people, and learning new lessons on the trail.

   I feel a renewed sense of excitement about the upcoming 50 miler and the rest of the season.  I just need to remind myself to add in some of the shorter mental health races and enjoy!!

Run on my friends...and just keep smiling.


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