It seems like every weekend at some point in our run Mark or I say “Aren’t you glad we aren’t doing a 30 mile training run?” Or “The happy thought is we are not running insert ultra race title here this weekend.” I knew it would be challenging to fit in my running after Jasper was born, and really challenging to do ultras. I worried I would never do one again. I never kept track of my ultras but I guesstimate I did about 15. I think at this point I can officially say I am retired, and happily so.
I’m glad I did them. I always wanted to run a 50 miler and a 100 miler and I did that. I met some awesome people, some of whom will be lifelong friends. I got to run in some amazing locations. I did things I didn’t think I could do.
Here’s why I am retiring:
1. The time commitment. That’s pretty obvious. 5,6, or even 7 hours out running isn’t even an option for me.
2. My feet-sies. When the podiatrist told me I could keep running with arthritis, he was basing it off my current fairly low running mileage of 40-50 miles a week. That is low compared to ultrarunners or most serious marathoners. I don’t think going up past that would do much to help my feet. I also don’t want to destroy my orthotics (which I LOVE by the way, and wish I would have gotten years ago) any quicker that I already am. I also cannot stub my big toes on roots, rocks, etc. I need to preserve these ugly little feet as long as I can.
3. 26.2 is enough for me. Running 26.2 miles as fast as I can is a huge challenge. Why do I need more? There is also plenty of challenge within the marathon. Different courses, pacing, shooting for a PR, and qualifying for Boston. Besides I love running marathons.
4. Longevity. Kinda goes with the whole feet thing. Down time during and after pregnancy made me really realize I want to keep my running up my whole life. I don’t want to face a devastating injury from over use.
5. I have other challenges I want to do. If I put any more time into exercise I want it to go to yoga. I would love to build on my yoga practice and maybe even get teacher certified someday, but not anytime soon.
That’s a lot of reasons. Ultrarunning is one of the few things I actually think I am happier without now that I have Jasper. I still follow it like crazy since results are now almost instant online, and every ultrarunner seems to have a blog, so I know who’s, who and I know who I really like and enjoy following. It’s nice to be at peace with giving something up. I’ve learned to never say never, but I am very happy for now to say “I JUST run marathons!”