I contacted the RD yesterday to tell her that I won't be running the American River 50 this year. This is a very good decision for many reasons, probably the main one being this: I don't want to do it. Really, I don't. Here are some other reasons:
I'm not ready. The training plans for running 50 miles include some back to back long runs that make perfect sense for getting ready to run 50 consecutive miles. But I haven't done any density training like that. I'm also not ready in the sense of having people who could help me run part of the race or cheer me on, both of which seem vital to this sort of effort. And while some runs
The last 25 miles of this race are on trails and I don't like trails. Maybe someday I'll like trails. And actually, I do like them, but for shorter distances at this point.
My lower back has been giving me grief. Over the last month my lower back's felt tight and sore most of the time and I can't seem to get it to feel better. So doing a max distance race right now seems ill advised.
I have lost sight of what I want. We've had lots of family stress in the last few months and as the stress increases, so do my miles. So it's made sense to increase my race distances. But just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. And right now I just feel tired and not very strong. Not what you want going into a running-all-the-live-long-day race!
Preserving enthusiasm is priority #1. I still really like to run, and I've been doing it for a very long time. I want to like running for a long time to come. But moving forward to run a race I don't want to run, that I'm not prepared for? That seems like a recipe for killing part, if not all, of the enthusiasm I have for running.
So on race day I'll be running my own long-ish run. Maybe 20 or so miles isn't long by ultra standards, but it's long for me. And more importantly, it's what I want to do. And sometimes in life, you really do get what you want, right?