Posted by: Steven Hammer | July 19, 2010

Mental struggles

I’m finding myself overwhelmed and discouraged this week. For once, it has nothing to do with injuries. So what is it then? I’m not sure exactly. Part of it has to do with the amount of time I’m putting in on weekends (7-8 hours, between Sat and Sun, plus icebaths, etc.). Part of it is missing speedwork (yeah…I know…). To be honest, I feel a little guilty leaving my pregnant partner to take care of our daughter most of the weekend. I miss our afternoons together. Part of it is getting used to the kind of tired ultrarunning makes me. I don’t even open my mouth on these long runs–I don’t have to breathe hard on those long runs–but it’s that whole-body ache and fatigue. That seems harder to push through and feel accomplished at the end. For example, I love the feeling of finishing a 5-10 mile tempo run. Breathing hard, sweating, burning muscles. But now, when I finish these 3-5 hour runs at 9-10min/mile pace, I get done and think, “Meh. Glad that’s over.” I don’t mean it’s not challenging. I guess I’m not “enjoying” myself as much as usual, as much as marathon/half marathon training.

I’m a runner, and admitting this makes me feel a little bit guilty I guess. Maybe the ultra thing isn’t for me? Maybe it’s not for me at this stage of life (family, career, etc.). Maybe I’m just approaching my peak weeks and I’m feeling overwhelmed, thinking, “holy sh*#, I’m going to run 50 miles! ” Whatever it is, I’m just working through it. I’m going to finish the 50-miler and then decide where to go next.

Ok, friends, hope you’re well and still enjoying summer!

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