That chart you see at the top is a bit of fuzzy math to determine my fitness, fatigue, and stress levels for the last year. There’s an interesting dip there with a heck of climb in the last few months. This is the short version of what happened.
I’m about one month away from my first attempt at the Promise Land 50k. It’s a tough race and I’m not sure what made me choose it as my first race back. You see, I broke my collarbone in the fall of last year.
It was a simply bicycle crash but it was a not so simple break. It required a three hour surgery which was about twice as long as it normally takes.
I started tentatively getting back to activity in December, then we had some family stuff come up and it wasn’t really until January that I started running seriously again. My fitness has come back decently but the mental part is still very far away from where I was. My confidence is shaken and I haven’t decided yet if I can trust my body to do what I want the way I could before.
As is typical for me this time of year, I’m fighting some powerful spells of depression and anxiety. I don’t know if it’s the accumulated lack of sun from the winter, the change to spring, the time shift, or what but I always struggle in April to keep my head above water. The running helps but sometimes it’s hard to get myself out the door.
So, I’ve added some stairclimber and swimming into my routine of running. That cross-training has mostly helped keep me motivated but I’m still struggling to rediscover my why for wanting to run a grueling ultramarathon. That crucial component of the mental challenge is fuzzy for me right now. I’ve had a very clear understanding of my motivations in the past but they’ve gotten clouded by other things lately. I’ve got a few weeks to figure it out.
Or maybe I won’t figure out until the last mile of the race. Maybe then, with my legs stinging and sluggish and the sweat caked on my face, I’ll remember what it is about this sport that makes me want to suffer so. Seeing the finish line and a clock under the cutoff will go a long way to clear up my doubts.