Monday, March 29, 2010

Can't outrun the stress

In the face of a cross-country move to Denver, it's hard to be focused on running right now. This past week I was cruising along, on pace for a 90-mile week, and then Noah got sick on Thursday night, which led to a night of bad sleep and an exhausting weekend in which staying awake was a challenge in and of itself. Fortunately, he's much better now.

For a long time there I was fighting the good fight as I tried to keep my mileage at a decent level while dealing with all of the stress of this move. I think last week the stress finally caught up to me as I battled fatigue and emotional and physical overload that just basically wiped me out. I ended the week with a paltry 69 miles. This time last year I was about to go north of 100 miles in my Mohican 100 training and was as locked in as one could be.

Also this week, I worked my last day at University Hospitals, saying goodbye to a great job, trusted colleagues and many dear friends after three good years. That obviously wasn't easy, but it would have been a heck of a lot harder if I wasn't moving on to a fantastic development job with the Colorado Neurological Institute.

I wasn't able to make my last club run in Solon on Sunday for reasons I won't even discuss here--too personal. Suffice it to say, I missed for good reasons and I made the choice not to be there because there was another place I needed to be even more. I was pretty busted up inside that I missed Sunday's club run. I can't even find the words to describe how much I'll miss the Cleveland Southeast Running Club. It's an intense club and expectations are always high if you're one of the more serious members (as I have been), but SERC makes you a better runner and along the way you form strong friendships. Friendship among runners is a special kind of friendship. People who aren't runners couldn't ever understand the bond between us. We just understand each other on the most basic level and there's never a need to explain our love of running, why we push it so hard and why we keep coming back for more.

On Friday, I got my number for the 2010 Boston marathon, which I won't be attending since it's in the midst of the move. I would have worn #2630 and started in the highly coveted second coral. They don't let just anyone in the second coral, and so I'm bummed I won't be there to run in the world's greatest marathon at the front of the field. I'm deferring my entry to next year and plan to line up at the 2011 Boston. I think about two weeks ago I was in 2:50 shape, but now--as I'm pretty much reeling from the stress--I think I'd be lucky to run a 3:05. Being in good marathon shape is a game of precision. You have to peak at just the right time and have just the right balance in life. For me, my balance and focus are totally gone right now. I'll return.

With the move only days away, I've decided to give myself a break for the next few weeks. If I get in some decent miles, great. If I don't, I'm not going to beat myself up. With all that's going on, 2010 is shaping up into not one of my better racing years. But there's always 2011.

Whatever happens in 2011 happens. If I do well in the Greenland Trail 50K on May 1, great. If I suck it up, I'll just work hard to get back into shape. As far as the Leadville Trail 100 on August 21, I'm still heavily leaning toward it and need to make a move soon or else I'm going to get locked out.

Potentially next time I post on here I'll be a Colorado resident enjoying life out West. I'm excited about getting into the mountains and seeing the sites. We have many beautiful places to visit and these next few months will bring many new experiences.

Signing off as an Ohio resident.


  1. Stress is tough for sure. I hope you have a great move.

  2. Beautifully written, as always! So sorry it is almost time to say goodbye to you and Anne! I understand now all the things you are saying about runners now that Ted is kind of in that world (thanks to you)! He always ran by himself before, and now he really enjoys the company and the challenge running with others provides. Thank you for all your support and inspiration! We will miss you guys for so many reasons! Best of luck! We hope to stay in touch for many years to come and to see you sometime again as well! Tami

  3. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

    I love you little brother. Hang in there. It's only going to get better.

  4. I think you'll be surprised with the benefits of some down time. It takes a lot more than a couple weeks for deconditioning to really set in. Your base is set - when you are settled in your new locale you will pick up where you've left off. Good luck with your travel and new home.

  5. Hang in there! You will come out on top, just like you do with your running!