Absence makes the heart grow lonely

Hi. Remember me? It’s quite possible you don’t…I’ve been gone a while.

What happened? Life. Actually not that much, but I haven’t had the desire, or frankly the time, to sit down and write. It didn’t seem that long to me. But I guess it has been a few months. Eek!

People have been asking…are you still running? What’s your next race? How’s your training going?

I’ve been hesitant to answer those questions. No one wants to hear me ramble on about myself. Right? Snore….

But maybe I should explain why I stopped writing. Hopefully this will give you some insight, and where the blog is headed this year. You might even pick up some hints on where I’m headed.

First, yes. I’m still running. That is not likely to change. Not ever. Fingers crossed. My perspective on running, specifically racing, has changed a bit. And a lot of that has been related to my transition to ultra. I made some pretty big changes to my professional and personal life recently, and that has influenced me as well.

But why? First, in October of 2013, I switched to a 100% plant-based diet. Yes…I’m a vegan…of sorts. I’ve heard all the jokes…

How do you figure out if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

Consider this your notice! I’ll use the term “plant-based” more often though, because I consider “vegan” to be an ethical decision. Suffice it to say, I don’t eat meat, eggs, and dairy. Outside of that, I’m not making any statements.

Shortly after, I started working in the food service department of a healthy supermarket. This was a great fit for me, and my new diet. Not only do I have access to great food choices, but I have the opportunity to talk to others, in person, about how food changed my life. It’s a great thing! The bad thing is work consumed most of the time I used to use for writing…and running…and sleeping!

And we’re back to running…
I decided at the end of last year that I would train for (mostly) trail runs this year. My heart is in the woods, and I want to spend as much time there as possible. I’m currently training for a few popular Ohio races, and training is going really well. But you’re not going to find me rambling on about training runs and mile splits. I’m not going to tell you how many miles I ran last week. Trust me, you don’t really want to know. If you follow me on twitter, you might see me talk about a key workout here and there, or my progress in some challenges I have with friends. I’m taking a much more “zen” approach this year, starting with my running log. It’s paper, and I made it. That feels natural to me, more than any electronic device strapped to my wrist, or data floating around the interwebs. That’s what I’m going for. Natural. (Stay tuned for more of this, and a great book recommendation if you’re interested in that approach.)

Ironically, I will be using one piece of technology a whole lot more. It’s one many runners dread, myself included.

The treadmill.

I know…I said I wanted more trail running. The truth is I am a single working parent with young kids. I can’t explain how hard it is to run outside these days. I’m not afraid of cold weather, but when my only available training time comes in the middle of the night while kids are sleeping, you do what you have to do.

Long hours on the treadmill do not conjure the stories blogs are made of. More snoring! But there is another reason for my departure from writing. A friend of mine recently told me something that has weighed heavily on my mind. It went something like this:

A great runner doesn’t have to talk about their accomplishments. Others will do it for them.

So true. There are many runners I “brag” about. I’m honored to call some of them friends. But upon meeting them, you’d never know they were runners (unless that meeting is on a trail!). You won’t hear from them how they faired in their last race, what their 50/100mi PR is, or about that time they qualified for Boston. Some of their coworkers don’t even know they run! You will hear about it…from others who look up to them. That is something to which I aspire. Running is something I do, but it doesn’t define me. But I’m torn. I don’t want to let down those that find inspiration in these posts. That is my sole goal…to show others that with hard work and determination you can do anything. If I can, anyone can.
It’s hard to explain, but I’m going to keep my training a little more private. Not because it’s some big secret that I wouldn’t share willingly with everyone. (I love talking about running.) I want to be known for the person I am, not some statistics on a web page. I’m going to call it the “ultra mindset,” but it’s not indicative of all ultra runners. Some of the runners who have been around the block a few times will understand what I mean. It’s not always about the competition. Sometimes it’s enough to just be. There will be more about this in future posts as well.

The focus of my blog is going to change over the next few weeks, and I hope you’ll bear with me. I will be discussing some new brand partnerships I’ve established, and reviewing some products I endorse. They’ll be on separate tabs with links…fingers crossed. I also will post race recaps for the big stuff. Expect the first installment in March.

I want to share more, but we have time for that. Because the truth is I miss writing. It’s cathartic for me, but it’s also the way I interact with the world. And I’ve been lonely without it. Until then…be well.

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