Three more nights until my first ultra marathon, see how much sleep I actually get. I decided to actually taper for this race. Some books I have read suggest tapering over a 3 week period. Once my taper is said and done it will equal a little over a week that I have backed off my training. I usually do not taper in fear of being under prepared for races.
I really think my body needed the time off because I had been feeling extremely exhausted, and feared I might have pushed my body too far. Although I am a bit grumpy and got some pent up nervous energy these last few days it has been nice to spend the extra time with my daughters and wife. Training for this race has really taken up a lot of my family time. Balancing training and family time is something I will need to evaluate once I pick my next race or challenge. Just a hint, this race is 31 miles and I got my eyes on a 50 miler in 2012.
Even before I got back into running, close to 2 years ago, I was already struggling to juggle work, family time, and my personal time. Becoming a father and trying to be the leader of my family brought on many new challenges. But I still wanted to keep my own identity. I felt like my dreams and goals would have to be put on hold. It bugged me and I turned to some unhealthy habits that started to have negative effects on me and my family.
I had to ask myself some questions like; what kind of father did I want to be? What kind of husband? What were my hopes and dreams? Around this time I happened to run into 2 buddies from high school who coached wrestling at a high school in Glendale, Arizona. I got back into wrestling which got me back into running. It was like I fell in love with both sports all over again. I begin to remember goals I had set for my life. I decided then I owed it to myself to go after them. It has been one heck of a journey leading up to this point in my life, and there is so much more to learn.
A couple days ago, I ran into a buddy at work and as we spoke he brought up the idea that we are all on a hero’s journey. It was so strange to me being that my uncle was also talking about this a few weeks back. I will take it as a sign to never forget all the times I cursed life thinking things could not get any worse. Too many to remember, yet here I am.
I sure hope as I am out on the trail this weekend, I can take my own advice to embrace the challenge, deal with the low points, feed off the highs, and battle until I reach the finish line. Two good friends are making the trip and also running the race. They are a wealth of knowledge. This is going to be painfully fun!
Thanks for all the support and encouragement.