August is Over and So Is Off-Season

Never has a month flown by so fast as August just did. It seems like every day I was talking to somebody about how the days were flying by and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since August has been a notoriously busy month for me. And this one was so no different as it started off with the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run!

Noooo, I did not run it.

But if there is ever a race I seriously get excited about, it’s AC100! This year would mark the third year in a row I volunteered for it, and every year it’s always a different kind of fun experience with new people and familiar faces.

While I know it’s not required of me to bring anything, this year I offered up donuts, coffee, and frozen Otter Pops that I hoped and prayed would stay seemingly frozen for much of the day since they would be out there a good 7 hours. And I gotta say they held up fairly well. Luckily one of our aid station captains, Jeff, tossed them in the larger ice chest that contained more ice and that helped.

Getting refilled and refueled.

At last year’s Bulldog 50K, I was offered an Otter Pop at an aid station and I absolutely loved it. You never know how these things may be received, but runners enjoyed them, and quite a few actually got joyously excited about having one of the 6 zippy flavors…considering they just completed 95 miles and the only other thing that would elicit such excitement is knowing the finish line was only a few miles away.

Ultrarunners resting and talkin’ shop (with their Otter Pops)

Every year it never ceases to amaze me how inspired I feel after seeing all these runners come through the last aid station, and one thing I noticed this year in particular, moreso than previously years, was how well people generally looked after having completed 95 miles! While they were certainly tired, everybody looked so strong!

Because of this, it’s so easy to get caught up in that atmosphere and feeling the pull to sign up for the race. And believe me I gave it great thought. I mean, Angeles Crest has been in my head and on my vision board for a couple of years now, but I know I’m not ready for that beast of a course next year. However, I am definitely looking towards 2019. This gives me some time to start getting my butt in gear, but we have time to talk about that. (Of course that’s if I don’t close out this blog which I’ve also been giving some thought to.)

For now, I was simply happy to have volunteered and help out in any way I can, and I honestly can’t wait for next year’s race.

I tried to carry over this feeling of inspiration to my own running but August miles were low. I was tired. It’s been an exhausting month. Not just physically, but mentally. So much stuff going on in this world. Frustrating stuff. Maddening stuff. I try to seek out the good and the joyful, but it can be so enormously difficult.

Running does help. Running is solace and a coping mechanism and it’s my way of clearing out the mental junk that plagues me from time to time which nowadays has been never-ending. But there were a lot of days when I just didn’t have it in me to get out the door.

I only got on the trails once this entire month. When Keira Henninger put out a notice there would be a training run for the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon, I decided that is the perfect opportunity to get back on the dirt even though I’m not doing the race. However, I most likely will be volunteering at the 10K.

There is no sugar coating how I felt after this run – I was fucking exhausted afterwards. I ended up running extra and pulling out 11 miles that day but my gawd, my body felt it. Fitness schmitness. Whatever ounce I had remaining, was gonzo!

It’s so easy to lose conditioning and endurance when you’re not consistent. Use it or lose it, right?

And I was actually talking about this to a fellow runner at this trail run. We talked about how easy it is to skimp out on running when we don’t have any particular goals or anything to actually train for. This has pretty much been me since last October.

I do enjoy running for the sheer sake of running, but overall I’m not consistent (sounds a lot like my writing as well), and it’s so super easy to flake out on a run when I simply don’t feel like it, or the weather is miserably hot, or I’m too sleepy and would much rather prefer an extra hour of sleep.

Lack of focus is just that. No direction with no goals in sight. That has been my off-season and it’s coming to a close. Yeah, August is over and it’s time for this body to get back in training mode!

Thanks for reading!

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2 Comments

  1. Sounds like me…I need an event to keep me moving and focused. With running races for me and pacing other races for other runners, I find little true “down time”…but I am okay with that at this point in my running. I look forward to seeing what you plan for this fall and next spring – get back on that running horse 🙂

    1. I’ve definitely had a LOT of down time. I think I needed it but I do like the idea of getting back on the running horse. 😀 Thank you Lindsey!

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