It is definitely time I turned over a new leaf. For a long time I've been wallowing in the depths of debilitating injuries, constantly assessing the level of severity of my shin, knee, achilles etc and worrying about trying to stay fit enough to simply make it through some of the big expensive events I signed myself up for towards the end of 2010.
The crash was just the latest in a long series of unfortunate events this past year, ultimately keeping me off of the trails for weeks and months at a time, in order to have a shot at hobbling around some of the great races I had yet to run.
Now that I'm through that period, it's time I took a step back to assess what it is I am trying to achieve.
There are still a number of unfulfilled goals on my bucket list but the real danger with having a list is that the items on it risk becoming boxes that need to be ticked rather than experiences to be enjoyed. The best example of this was the pressure I put on myself to start Western States this year, despite being chronically injured, unsure of whether I could even crest Emmigrant Pass successfully, let alone make it to Auburn. Of course I wouldn't take back my finish there for anything but my enjoyment of it was maybe 50% of what it should have been because of my state of physical disrepair. I guess we are all becoming victim a little to having to commit to races so far in advance and worse, to take the opportunities to race when we are presented them because that opportunity may not arise for a long time/ ever in the case of Western States.
I have always gotten the most out of my training by having one significant goal to aim for. There's nothing better than immersing yourself in a proper training routine and finding out what you're capable of as a runner. This past year I've forgotten a lot of what that is about.
So instead of rushing back on this latest knee injury I am going to sit it out a while and keep my head down. It's important now to relieve myself of the stress of fighting to get fit too fast and just let it happen. It's not about a few weeks good training or even a couple of months, I want to get back to a place where I can train for 18 months/ 2 years without significant issues arising. Racing is a part of that too for sure, I enjoy the races equally to great training sessions and I've missed out there too. There will always be another injury/ minor set back and maybe the next one isn't too far away but I intend to maximise my enjoyment of simply running in the meantime. One thing is for sure, I no longer take being able to step out of the door and on to the trails for granted.
So here's to an attempt at turning over a new leaf. Not being pressured into big mileage weeks and rushing back on injuries to make races that will always be there in the future.
Regards 2012 a lot of us are now sat around waiting for the big lotteries to open/ be drawn for 2012. I like many others have my name in a few, unlikely to get a place in some and almost certainly not in others. My year could take a very definite road slant, or mountain trail slant. I'm kind of intrigued to see how it pans out, highly likely a mixture of both I would guess....