This spring lit a fire in me.
From taking the plunge and jumping into my first Ultra in March to winning the National Championships in the 50mile in June I have never found as much joy and sustenance in trail time as I did this spring.
Running got me through my first and otherwise very standard (read, wet) winter in the PNW. It was my escape from the basement I worked in and the basement I live in, and the rabbits hole of scientific journals my face is frequently buried in these days.
Running was everything I needed, until we were headed into July and suddenly I was tired. Too tired. I struggled through the sleep monsters and the aches, the brain fog and the migraines for three weeks. First cutting back training, then not training at all. And still my incessant need to nap did not change. Finally I didn’t want to eat, and couldn’t remember where I was suppose to be going or doing. And when I don’t want to eat a donut, or ice-cream, or cookies… you know something is probably wrong.
So I went in for blood work, and called all the doctors in my life (thanks parental units!) and finally decided that the best course of treatment was antibiotics for what was becoming more apparent was likely Lyme Disease.
Nationals in Ithaca was in a tick heavy area, in a tick heavy time of the month… it seemed inevitable. With worlds on the horizon at the end of October I needed to take action. 3 weeks later I no longer feel the urge to sleep standing up, and I’m a microbiome lighter. (Sorry gut bacteria!)
Over the past month, while slowly recovering I spent time alternating between slow mountain adventures with good friends and trail buddies and short easy runs with little bursts of speed to try to spur my legs into remembering we know how to run after taking nearly 2.5 weeks completely off.
While I might not be 100% in the fitness category, my spirit sponge stores are at an all time high. Getting to share the wonderland trail with Emily and Yiou, getting a full blown tour of the North Cascades and the Enchantments loop with Stephen and Emerson, getting to spend some time in the hills around Bozeman with Jodi and Jennie, and finally hugging and smooshing my Bozeman family over the past week has me flying high!
I’m getting ready to head back to The Rut in Big Sky Montana for the weekend. A race in my hearts home, surrounded by people I care about seems like the cherry on top. Am I going to crush it? Probably not. I have no ill conceived notions of greatness, but I know its where I need to be. I’m not sure I have the self-control to “not-race” a race… But I’ll be bracing my limitations and giving it 100% of whatever my legs and lungs will share with me this weekend. I hope to be giving out high fives and catcalls and taking at least half the flasks I’m offered… for what I lack in fitness right now I hope to match with energy and heart!