Cross Country Time!

I have been really struggling this winter to get my head on straight, stay motivated, and not just disappearing underneath a sea of blankets and fluffy bathrobes in favor of being my normal active self.

The ankle injury obviously gave me a great excuse to just work/sleep/eat/sleep for a minute, but since then I’ve been having a hard time wanting to do anything.
My post about trying to ultra train in the gym – when I looked back at that a day later, all I could think was, no wonder. No wonder I’m welling with ultra doubts. No wonder I am dreading training. No wonder I am fairly bitchy anytime I’m not eating or sleeping.

Ultra for me means not only pushing myself in an athletic endeavor but adventure. There really is nothing too adventurous about running on a treadmill unless you do it backwards. The adrenaline rush of climbing a hand over foot hill doesn’t even begin to translate to a jaunt on the stair stepper.

Trying to get excited about things that aren’t exciting is out of my spectrum of maturity. I need to be engaging in some sort of risky behavior or I feel like I’m wasting my time. I knew what I had to do to reclaim my passion, and rekindle my ultra fire.
WTF was I thinking?
It started with blowing my car payment and some hoarded gift certificates on a pair of back-country skis. Side note – my car has been paid off for a month now. I figured this was as good an investment as any with that spare change clanking around in my wallet.

I love cross country skiing. My last pair of skis had been commandeered by someone who needs them more than I do, though, and with my winter “fuck its” being so extreme this year, I planned on sitting out this season.

Since Sunday I have logged over 6 hours in the forest. For some reason 11 degrees is a totally different story when I have sleds strapped to my feet. I’ve been bush whacking through the backwoods, I have sailed the happy trails.

I have reclaimed my wild spirit!
I’ve known all along where I need to be, but for some reason, the woods that called out so loudly to me in the past turned more into a dull whisper of “once you do everything on your to do list, plus a bunch of other shit, plus go to the gym like a good girl… Maybe think about possibly coming to see me.”
I don’t know why it took me so long to get myself dislodged from this dark place.

I had to dislodge those earplugs. Make the time. Make the justification that climbing hills is climbing hills and one hand feeds the other, and backwoods 50ks require actually being out in the backwoods be it on foot or skis.

Everything started feeling right again as soon as I strapped on my pair and got to stepping.

And on a completely side note, the skiing has already translated into better running. My treadmill workout yesterday was the first time I’ve had “runner’s high” in months. I don’t know if it’s the extra boost of motivation or the hours of perpetual motion, or the fact that I feel stronger than I have in a long time… But I had a really satisfying run, and that is a huge deal to me.I can’t help but to be hyper-excited about this liberation. I can only hope my enthusiasm keeps pushing me forward.

I resolve to never miss a powder day for the duration of the winter.
To enjoy everything this great forest has to offer.

To push myself outside of my comfort zone, and be fully prepared to smash this ultra come April.

All I can say is that it feels good to be back. And if you need me before the snow melts… You know where you can find me.