Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Lonely Road of the UltraRunner

I read lots of articles daily about running, as I am a person who has sole focus when I commit to a thing.  Articles about hill training, or long runs, or pacing, strength training, about doping, and all sorts of other things that make up our wonderful sport.  But few on what happens when you really commit yourself to a training plan and a desire to excel in a field.  What happens when your training plan no longer allows you to just show up and run with your local running group because you have an important workout the day that they all meet, and the usual 5-6 mile jaunt through the woods isn’t what’s on your plan for the day?  Want the real world truth?

Solitude.

Solitude is what happens.  If its an LSD it can be hours alone with your thoughts.  Perhaps if its a speed workout you’re brain is too occupied trying to remember how many laps you have done in the mile repeat, and then how many mile repeats you have just completed, oh… and don’t forget keeping an eye on that pace/split you are supposed to hit.  In reality those brain occupying, pain inducing workouts are becoming somewhat of a relief to my over-thinking solitary brain.

Do I miss my social running buddies, yes.  Do I feel guilty when I show up at coffee or a morning run on a rare day that I don’t have an important workout and I am greeted with “where have you been,” “you do still exist”–of course.  Do I wish I could be everywhere and have everything– don’t we all?  Instead I have traded in my early morning social runs (so I am not a night time zombie and can actually have a conversation with my husband) for mid morning runs–or even sometimes sneaking in an after work run.  I have prioritized getting adequate sleep, and recovery (and of course work and family.)   And yes, I miss you all!

Do I regret this?  Not really.  I’m not driven by overstretching myself and trying to squeeze everything in.  I don’t feel compelled to give into the societal pressure that tells me I need to do everything, please everyone.   I realize I cant.   When I’m all in- I’m all in.  I’m a person that when I choose to focus on something important to me I am able to let go of regrets.  I realize that most of my life is a consequence of choices I make, and the rest I can’t control–so what is there to regret?

I thrive on single minded-ness.  When I have a few things on my plate that I put as much of myself into that I can.  And I do.  Spreading myself thin doesn’t make me satisfied.  I don’t want to be a jack of all trades, I want to be a master of few things that are important to me.  So right now running, running fast, and uninjured is my free time desire so my single minded-ness has altered my journey onto a path of solitude — for the moment.

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Looking Ahead to 2017; new art direction, and Something new from Carson Footwear

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For many, January signifies a time to start planning the next full year.  For me, Lotteries have made my year planning occur the Thanksgiving before the new year.  So January is just when I make sure my ducks are in a row for my first race of the 2017 season.

This year I was shut out of both lotteries I put in for; Western States 100 and Hardrock Hundred.  OUCH! Because I was on a roll of being rejected from lotteries I entered one more; CCC in France since I probably can’t really afford to go, and I most likely won’t get in.  I just figured what the heck!

For the year, so far I have Black Canyon 100k, maybe a spring race?  Grayson Highlands? Quest for the Crest? Promise land?  Then summer hopefully San Juan Solstice. Fall; CCC??! Waldo? And then something local in the winter…Hellgate 100k? Mountain Masochist 50?  As you can tell I am having commitment problems currently. Oh, and FOMO. Why are there so many fun races?!  I should probably sprinkle in a trail marathon here and there… any suggestions?!

So as January is here I am already mid way through my training cycle for Black Canyon 100k.  I have started working with Meghan Arbogast, and the change to my usual training has been both challenging and refreshing!  In all honesty I’m a bit of a control freak about my own running, and thought it would be hard to give up and go with someone else’s plan for me– but the reality is its been pretty freeing.  I don’t need a lot of motivation, just someone who can answer my questions, and thinks up new workouts for me to try.  She’s been really great, and I am hopeful working together will help take my racing one step further.  I like to do the best I can!

In other news, I have been testing out some new things for Carson Footwearhttp://www.carsonfootwear.com/  Sometimes just a small change can make a huge difference.  I was having some achy foot pain in distances over 45 miles where I am on lots of gravel or pointy rocks.  I mentioned this to Everett, and ever since he’s been hard at work testing out new sockliners and very light-weight rock guards.  He’s been sending me some here and there, and each time its like he’s getting closer.  The shoes don’t need to be changed, and for nontechnical trail they are perfect as is…. but for foot bruising-rocky ultras the new insert he’s putting together are awesome!   Soft underfoot yet somehow still firm and springy.  They can’t be ordered just yet–as they are still in production and testing, but I’m excited to share this little news now.  Look for them to be available in the spring of 2017!

Also, I have been brushing up on my digital design skills recently, wanting to get back to a little design work here and there.  If you need a design, logo, photo editing, or painting… send me an email! rbellkelley4@gmail.com

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Just a peek at a race poster