A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The party downer.

Nobody wants to talk about it, and when someone does, it makes everyone around uncomfortable. And there will be responses "Yeah, but so and so did that for that many years!"...I don't care. As someone who is going through a lot of realization I can't pretend not happening anymore and as a medical professional, and as a really, truly compassionate speaker of the sport we call "home", trail ultrarunning, I am going to keep bringing it up - and stirring the pot, and reminding, pointing fingers, being a nagging annoying parent a teenager refuses to listen to because "they know better"...

Joe Uhan put together the 3rd installment of his series on Over-training at iRunfar.com -the best one as it has a twist we keep pretending to cite to not be subjected to such silly thing. We are trail runners, ya know, the la-la land, the lolly-gaggers, the "enjoying the beauty", the often slow pokes, the "I don't run fast" or "I don't run far" or "I don't run often" (comparing to whom??).

Low level of stress - and yes, a few hours on the trails, as awesome as it is, IS stress - does catch up to you. It could be 3 years, 10 years, 15 years (very few went that far) - but it will. I don't want to stop anybody! Heck, no! I've had my share, and in fact, I want more of that pie!!!

BUT - I want everybody to know WHY they are doing what they are doing, WHAT the potential outcome is, HOW FAST they plan to get to that point and WHAT can they do to NOT be there - at least any time soon. Because even in 21st century, in our over-ridden with social media and "support" society, we, deep inside, do want to stick with it for other reasons beyond sharing on running logs/blogs/Strava/Facebook/whatever, right??? Right?

Please read! Please don't think you're invincible simply because you "shuffle at half-walking pace and smell the roses" when you sing up for your trail ultras every other week/month! As I had stumbled into this last year, rebound, and am in it, deeper, this year - I spoke to a lot of folks, elite or "normal", who had gone through, done that, and not willing to share with the world - because it is looked upon as weakness and failure to give up. We can all find someone we knew who kind of, sort of, stepped away, and we say "injuries", "family", work obligations, lack of excitement...All of those ARE symptoms, believe it or not!

OK, enough yelling. I am just very compassionate. I had STOPPED a plenty of my own running coaching clients at the first (or, at the least, second) sign of heading that direction, and simply cut them off with "Why don't you take a break, I don't want your money" once they either can't find a goal (emotional struggle), can't lace up, get injured too weirdly/often, loose motivation...Be real, people. Trail ultrarunning is great - when you are aware of limits, which can sneak up on you as trails "beat us up less, provide more mental and emotional stimulation, slow us down"...

Enjoy, enjoy it forever and ever. Stay with it. But stay healthy - in body, mind and soul.

11 comments:

  1. Excellent reminder! I thought about this a lot last winter when I read Phil Maffetone's Big Book of Endurance (or something like that.) He emphasizes how much life stresses other than running play a factor in over training. Struggling right now with wanting to take a break (which I've been looking forward to the last few months) and already worrying I'll lose fitness if I don't keep it up to a certain extent. Think I'll err on the side of letting my running fitness slide and enjoy some R and R. :) I even scheduled a massage!

    I hope you come out of this down time renewed and able to do what you truly want to do!

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    1. I always ran on the edge "I am going to loose fitness and not be where I am, and folks won't like me, and more importantly I won't like me". My mother-in-law is the smartest woman, she said to me a couple of times (non-obtrusively): "You can only be happy from within". I am finally getting it.

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    2. So true! For me, it's more the fear of missing out....but I guess that is sort of a fear that my running friends won't like me. I hope you're starting to realize that many people like you for who you are and not just Olga 100 mile ultrarunner. :)

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  2. It's a good reminder, Olga. I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I know all too well that over training is a real thing. I've been struggling with it for almost a year. I have adrenal fatigue and a host of other ailments along with trouble lacing up and getting out for a run. What used to be so much fun and something I looked forward to is now another chore. I've taken a huge step back, am eating well and treating my body very well by resting, doing cross training and only running smaller runs when I feel like it. I'm starting to feel like I might never come out of this funk. I hope your recovery is shorter and that you feel healthy again soon, my friend.

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    1. Oh, honey, darling...lets keep talking, and not hiding, because we are NOT alone! That's the scariest part, until you discover how many out there struggle, try to hide, overcome, over-ride, and not tend to the roots. And how those who ARE smart don't share - for the fear of loosing audience when it's not all go-go? Email me anytime, keep me in the loop.

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  3. Just like nobody wants to hear how truly awful sugar/sweets are! :)
    Glad you are talking about it, Olga!

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    1. I know, Kirstin, right? Hush-hush, it ain't happening! Then people run into depression...It is normal, and we need to talk about it - and proper recovery, and steps back, often huge steps back! And keep it light, and find each other and ourselves interesting people beyond running!

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  4. Ultra-Survivor.12/11/13 14:10

    Really enjoy your insights Olga,noticed the River of No Return Race in Idaho on your bucket list,my sister lives in Salmon,ID.,an hour from race start,So a definite on my list next year.(Kinda close to Hardrock,but last hard workout i guess^^,with OCD,tough to say no!!)

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    1. Dennis Ahern pointed me to this run, and a few days ago Larry and I watched the documentary "The river of no return" about a couple on "honeymoon" taking videos of wolves and living in the area for almost a year. Beautiful! And what we like to do. No time goals though, neither which year to get there, nor how long to take to make it done! :)

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  5. Good post, Olga....and I totally know what you're going through. As you know from our emails, Hardrock kicked me in the ass this year. Months later I'm just starting to feel normal again and is the reason I'm cutting out long ultras from my calendar...if it goes into the night or I have to wear a pack, I'm not doing it.
    Sarah brought up Phil Maffetone's book...I have been training mostly using a Maffetone formula since 2004 with lots of success, but even with that you can go deep in the well by staying on your feet at altitude for 44+ hours!
    Dr Maffetone talks about health and fitness in the same sentence, which is possible as long as we don't overdo it. Today I haven't felt this good in years and what have I been doing that's different? Eating a whole food, plant based diet and taking a couple of days off a week from running. I haven't done this for 38 years! Our food is the center of it all and rest is more important than the stress. My newest goal, as you know, is to run a fast marathon (relative for me, at 62), but if this journey brings me to my knees, I'll end it.
    Best of luck in your recovery...Deb and I may be at Bandera, for me the 50K, not the 100K. ;-)

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    1. Would love to see you both at Bandera, Steve! And thank you, I've been talking to you about Maffetone for a long time, indeed, and you, of all, are my only example of still doing it at the ripe age and having been doing it for decades. So, I'll listen to you, not to "flash in the pants", or outliers like simply freaks of nature (who knows when and how bad it'll catch up to them).
      As for diet, I eat extremely healthy, and last 3 years more so than ever (I never ate badly having come from I did). I do eat meat, but 90% of my meat is chicken, and it's not like I pound on it (dinner, sometimes lunch a bit). All the rest is all veggies and fruits. My blood tests from 2 weeks ago all checked out perfect, no deficiencies (unlike last year). I'll keep digging, and I am at peace with doing it slow:) Thanks!

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