I’ve decided not to run the Mason Dixon Shortest Day next weekend. This event has been on my calendar since this summer when I ran the MDLD. I thoroughly enjoyed that run and thought I would give it’s shorter brother a go since I had an open spot in my race schedule.
Well, the summer turned into the fall and now that winter is just around the corner I’m just not feeling it. I can’t quite put my finger on where my lack of motivation is coming from, but I’ve learned to lean into this feeling rather than trying to fight through it. Sure in ultrarunning, there are times when you just need to tough out situations (I’m looing at you long run). There are other times though that pushing through things could lead to burnout. I’m looking to be actively engaged in this sport for many more decades so try to err on the side of doing less when I’m feeling like this.
My guess is it has a lot to do with the event itself. I’ve already done this section of trail a couple time so it’s not like it’ll be brand new for me. The fatass structure also means it’s less of a race and more of a group run so the stigma of a DNS (as low as they are to begin with) is even lower. And I should probably throw out there that my history on the MDT is less than ideal.
My running over the past month has been a little sporadic. I’ve only had two weeks over 40 miles since Grindstone in September and one of those was an aborted MDT attempt. During this time, I’ve also been dealing with some hip tightness. It’s nothing that keeps me from running, but it’s noticeable. So noticeable I’ve started doing supplemental exercises to loosen things up. You know it’s an issue if I have to resort to doing core work.
The last couple days I can feel myself finally starting to lock into a nice groove. I’m not hitting my snooze alarm. I’m noticing my hips and hamstrings less frequently when I run. And my training paces are slowly getting faster. All of that is slowly increasing my motivation to begin ramping up my miles. So while I could definitely go knock out 35 miles on the MDT next weekend, it would definitely set me back a couple weeks or even a month as far as my training goes. Now is the time when I need to slowly ramp up to get ready for 2023. I have some big goals for next year and the base for it needs to be built now.
So I’m going to do the smart thing and not run any more ultras this year. I’m sure it’ll be the last smart thing I do this year.