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.