As described in my last post, I didn’t finish the ultra. I tried to be positive about it at the time and take pride in the fact that I did actually start it, etc. I’ve spent the last couple weeks being kind of miserable about it. I thought I could do it. I was sure I could do it. I tried to do it. No matter how ready I was, I still slipped on a rock before I could even get up the mountain. Somehow I should have anticipated that, been ready for that, not have injured my ankles. Which is all nonsense of course, because there are environmental factors that I cannot anticipate, there are split-decisions that I have to make and it I work hard to try running in the rain (and more climbing), I can be better prepared for next year. Which is the plan.
What’s next for 2021 though? There are still a few months to go.
In a couple of weeks I will be doing the Royal Victoria Half-Marathon. I’ve done the marathon a few times here but this year they are only offering the half and an 8K. So I’m doing the half. It’s a road race, which I am more familiar with and I’ve been running again so I’m comfortable with my ability to do the race. I will always have the challenges of being epileptic to go along with it, whether or not I seize in my sleep the night before, or the morning of. I will always have the challenges of being clumsy and falling over a chair the day before (like we saw before the ultra). Either way, I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a chance to race and on a terrain that I am way more familiar with.
Less than a month later I will be doing a series of races in Disney World (barring cross-border travel and all that). Disney has the runDisney event of the 5k/10k/half-marathon offered in Florida. I am registered for all three and have my plane tickets booked. The races are first thing in the morning through the parks on sequential dates. The theme is “villains”, so I could hardly resist it. I’ve done two of the runDisney series in California way back in 2017 (the Tinkerbell 10k/half and the Marvel 5k/10k/half) and I actually really love them. They aren’t PR-breaking races, they have cast members dressed like the characters so it’s a chance to see the parks and take photos with villains. I am really hoping to see Gaston, Cruella, Ursula, Captain Hook and Hades. I promise to take some good photos.
I have one race registered for in 2022 (a carry-over from 2020) and I will start looking into more options. I plan to continue doing yoga because it is an amazing stretch that I don’t normally indulge in but with the weather starting to get darker at night, it’s not like I am going to be out running alone that late. As a means of cross-training between days that I go running, it’s fantastic and I get absolutely the most amazing sleep afterwards. I might try bouldering, although with work, running and yoga (plus a few other commitments) I don’t know if I will have enough time.
Point of this blog was that yes, I was very disappointed in myself that I didn’t finish the ultra. I cried. Not at the race, not where people would see, but when I was alone. I was proud of myself for starting but at the same time, I was angry at the things that stopped me from finishing that weren’t even related to my medical condition. I was taking a risk, pushing myself knowing I am epileptic and I didn’t get to overcome that. I just simply couldn’t overcome a slippery rock. Sometimes I build something up so much that I think that just my will to succeed should be sufficient. I can be as prepared as I want but that is never going to change the factors that are outside of my control. I can think all the negative thoughts about what I should have done but that race is over. All I can do is learn from it.
In the end, it is not going to stop me from registering for the next opportunity to race.