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When life (and other things) get in the way

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Want to train for another ultramarathon? Is it worth it? Is there anything better you can do with your time?

These are the questions I’ve been working on recently.

In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, I ran a lot. It was one of the few things we could all do. Going out for long runs was a great way to clear my mind and get away to a place where I didn’t have to worry while doing something I loved, but I started to miss the races and decided to go for ultrarunning in his community. I miss you.

In 2021, I jumped at the chance to get back into racing, running three Ultras and the Boston Marathon. I loved seeing the crowds cheering on the runners in Boston.It was incredible to reunite with the volunteers providing support at the ultra aid stations.

But 2022 felt a little different. My son recently started kindergarten and spent most of the summer traveling and reconnecting with his family. I prioritized camping trips over long runs on weekends. We bought old canoes and spent as much time researching lakes and streams as we did running routes. I didn’t race this summer.

I have not given up on running. I still have plans to try the fall 100k, but I find it harder mentally to train than I used to. Balancing running and life is getting harder and harder.

Wildfire doesn’t help. Running is insignificant compared to the human loss from these fires. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t give a second thought to burning trails like those near Lake Waldo in Oregon and along the Western States 100 course. I wonder what these races will look like in the future.

As I type, the air quality in my hometown is terrible. This should be my peak training week, but I can’t run outside. The idea of ​​training solely on a treadmill is not very appealing. Again, ask, “Is it worth it?”

Often I wander around to find the answer. Most of the time it bothers my wife while she is trying to sleep. But now it’s on my laptop’s keyboard.

And the more I typed, the more I knew the answer. Yes it’s worth it.

Ultrarunning has changed my life for the better. I’ve met so many amazing people who have given me the energy and confidence I didn’t have before I became a runner, and they’ve made me a better father, husband, and all-rounder. And I don’t want to give it up.

But if you want to keep running ultras, you know your training won’t be what it used to be. . I know my results are likely to be compromised because of this. my goals need to be adjusted. My time slows down You may have to walk up hills that you used to run on, but that’s fine.

You can continue your training by running consistently (albeit short distances) when you have time.

Is that enough? It’s probably not the result I want, but it’s good enough to make me enjoy the experience. There is none.

Soon my son may be able to participate in runs and long hikes. And it can become part of my training. One day I might be able to help my wife’s crew at an aid station or walk a few miles at a pace. I don’t think he minds if his father sneaks out from time to time to do what he likes.