Last year came and went...and it happened fast. I had every intention of following my plan of shorter races, focusing on really cutting my 50k time down, and then attempting Oil Creek again...and you know what, not one of those things happened and I couldn't have asked for a better year.
Don't get me wrong the lack of racing is something I missed, but I gained so much more from taking time off, I learned how important that really is. I had started off the year fast on my feet, running shorter miles, more intervals, more fartleks-getting more speed. I felt like my plan was steadily falling into place. I looked at race calenders, plotting and deciding how to space out my season. I entered my first race on May, a 50k to see how my legs would do early in the year. A month before the race I made the decision to contact the race director and step down to the 25k distance, I just didn't feel like I had enough long runs under my belt to go through happily.
About 3 miles in I stepped of the edge of a rock awkwardly and twisted my ankle. Instead of calling it a day I decided to change up my gait slightly and keep moving. It paid off and I came through the finish line with a third in my age group. I gave it a week to heal up and see how it would be.
I ended up running a total of three races this year. That ankle just didn't seem to want to cooperate with the ice the elevation, the rest, after a few months it was still tender with every run longer than a few miles., so I made the decision not race the rest of the season other than for fun, and I wouldn't be running any distance races.
At first it was hard to picture a year passing without a formal training schedule, and a race plan, but as time began to wear on I realized there was nothing more I needed than a break.
Taking that break allowed me the time to turn my focus inside, to really focus on being the best version of myself. Running is something that I love dearly, but it isn't who I am, and I had forgotten that. I had forgotten to keep up with the things I want to achieve to find that version of myself again and truly be that person.
Looking beck through this blog I realized it was based on running and going back to school, so I made that happen. I applied to go back to school full time and study nutrition, and I'm doing just that. I am currently a junior at West Chester University and am struggling through a world of biochemistry, anatomy and physiology and nutrition classes, and as difficult as it is to get back in the routine of making myself study and trying to learn all new material..I wouldn't change it.
I realized the importance of pursuing a career, not just having a job, and well as doing something rewarding with a long future ahead. So a few years later than I had planned, I feel like life is on track.
I am back to running and working out, not with race plans in the future, but they aren't totally out of the question. I continue to cook and plan race nutrition and fueling strategies for others, and hope to continue to share that and some good food along the way.
Not running was the best way to look at other pieces that were missing and fill it all in. May the trail that is life keep winding and always open up to a beautiful view.