There has been a lack of words lately. I've felt, in a great way, that those deep thoughts and insights about running and life have been void within me for some time. I still don't feel them there and as I write this I feel as though I'm plodding along, much like I did at my last race, the Buffalo Run 100. Like then, I know that the motivation and words are inside of me, but I can't find the depth to draw them out and express them on paper.
My personal focus, my thoughts, and actions have been pulled in three directions so greatly as of late that I don't feel like I contain any extra room for creativity. My wife and I and our children have very busy lives. We both work full time and our four children require the attention they deserve. These two aspects of a person's life would often be enough to not even try to add in something else. But both Emily and I need personal growth; both physically, mentally, and spiritually. And oddly enough, we both find that we get a great deal of all three through running. With our crazy schedule the ability to add in running can be a source of conflict between us, finding ways to both go without sacrificing other mandatory parts of our lives. But we do it.
While Emily is currently in upkeep mode for her running I'm trying to cap off a peak training sequence before tapering for my next race, the Bryce 100 miler on May 31st. Over the last two weeks I've peaked at the highest mileage for training than ever before, averaging 75 miles/week. And while this week won't see that high of mileage, the intensity has and will continue to be extremely high. Because of this I've seen certain side effects that I've never experienced before. One was mentioned at the beginning of this article. The other is 'absent-mindedness'. There have been numerous times when I've found myself forgetting to do menial tasks that I've never forgotten before. I've left the keys in my car twice, over night. Luckily it was parked in the garage. I've also left milk and eggs out on the counter, left water running in the sink, and even completely spaced what day it was once last week. Emily, the amazing nurse she is, told me that my calorie intake and required sleep don't support the amount of effort I'm putting in for training. Of course, she's right and I've since made a couple of adjustments that I'm hoping will help.
And while I've now found the words to put on paper for this article, I still feel a sense of loss for the creativity that goes along with supporting my other writing on trailandultrarunning.com. I'm hoping that over the next few weeks as I taper for the race I find my writing mojo again. As for running, I'm not sure if I've ever been this motivated. And it's not just about seeing the physical results of putting in the extra effort. This time of year begs to be enjoyed in the outdoors. The trails are dry, the normally dead weeds and grass are green and lush, and the flowers are out everywhere. It is simply gorgeous and there is no place I'd rather be. Below are a few pictures from this morning's run with Matt on the trails above downtown Salt Lake City, UT. You'll understand why there psych is there, for sure. Now to find the words.