First things first. A month ago I saw my life a little differently. It felt familiar. I was in the law enforcement program, stressed to the max, but loving (almost) every minute of it. I was planning my races for the year. And I was okay with running a few 5-10K races for various causes and the rest would be obstacle races. I am registered for The Russian River Mud Run on Sunday. WhooHoo Right?! Yeah not so much. I don’t know if it was brush with the Boogyman the other night on my run, I am getting soft, or obstacle racing for me has run its course (pun intended), but I am not looking forward to it. Not one bit. But there’s more. I am also rethinking Tough Mudder in Lake Tahoe, CA in July, and a couple races later in the Summer. And I haven’t gotten to thinking about Fall ones yet.
When first I got into obstacle racing, I was still finding my footing with being able to run again. Many of the obstacle races aren’t timed, which was perfect. Being timed means my competitive, not always good for me side shows herself. Point being, I just wanted to get the tee shirt finish them. That was satisfying enough. And don’t get me wrong, obstacle races are an absolute blast and who doesn’t need a nice mud bath every so often?! But the past couple days I’ve been eyeing what just 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have even considered, even with a couple glasses of liquid courage. A half-marathon. But that is just the short term hopefully I will be ready by Summer goal. The goal I really have my eye on is a marathon. My fear? An obstacle race allows me to finish somewhere in the middle. I am not close to being first (no times!) but I am not close to being last either. A half marathon is the big leagues. I am afraid of being the lone runner crawling over the finish line when the rest of the runners have already had their feet up, sipping AppleTinis. A year ago, or even 6 months ago it wouldn’t have mattered being absolute last. Today, it really, really does.
And that’s my dilemma. The Russian River Mud Run and Tough Mudder are timed. Last October when I did The Russian River Mud Run I didn’t care about my finishing time. Now I do. I want to beat my last time. As for Tough Mudder, I want to finish with a great time. The problem? Not my training enough for them, the problem is me. I don’t trust my competitive side enough to know I won’t take some serious risks with the already risky obstacles for my finish time. Right now the extra risk of obstacles doesn’t feel worth risking how far I have come. Yeah, yeah, I know. Marathons have risks, but are they as risky as obstacle racing? Do I change all my racing plans for the year? Since when do I really think about risk? Most of the time I don’t. All this play it a little safer has got my mind spinning in unfamiliarity. I blame turning 40. But blaming will get me nowhere. I need to make a decision, so I am heading out to run about it.
Until next time, always be true to yourself and think like a boss!