I’m not running 100 miles this May.
I’ve made the decision to withdraw from the Keys 100. Maybe one day I’ll sign up again and attempt the great 100. Or maybe I’ll never see the starting line of a 100-mile race. And either option is just fine to me.
Getting injured and dropping out of the 50-mile race created a lot of new space in my relationship with my body and what I choose to do with it. My body wasn’t okay during that race and forced me to remember I am more than just a runner. I made the decision to drop out at mile 36.4, having just given eight hours of hard work to a lost cause. It was a sad loss, but it was also refreshing to honor my body, my comfort and my health.
I am successful if I challenge myself and follow my life’s passions, even when they’re constantly changing. Those passions still include ultra marathons (I will complete at least one 50-mile race in place of the 100) and Ironmans, but they also include family and this blog and getting adjusted to my new life in Asheville.
To be completely honest, this enlightenment came after the realization that I didn’t have a choice whether or not I wanted to do the 100. It isn’t possible for me to train to be prepared to run 100 miles by May: I had to take time off after the 50; I was in pain during the 50k weeks later; and I’m only working with short runs four times a week now. Even with the simplest training plan I couldn’t be ready in time- plus the fact that I still have pain now.
Nonetheless, this decision feels good and goes on to prove you don’t need to win (or even start) a race to get the benefits of it. Strength isn’t in how far, long or hard you go; it’s what you make of it.