2014: The Year of Macrame Handbags but No 24 Hour Races

by Carilyn on December 16, 2013

A work force is willing to go through many painful things if it believes in the long-term goals. ย Richard Belous, Economist


The day has come when I am forced to admit that my “work force” (my body, my mind) is no longer willing to suffer by running around in circles for 24 hours. I’ve known this for awhile (and frankly, y’all probably have too), but I just wasn’t ready to be done. I kept telling myself that I didn’t want to finish races because the conditions were bad, I was sick, etc., etc., etc. But, this weekend was perfect: the weather was beautiful, I was well-trained, my splits were faster than in any other 24 hour race I have done, and I felt great. But I was still hating it.

And I mean hating it. Like every other 24 hour race I’ve done for the last couple of years.

And it was impossible to convince myself that it was anything but ME. I had to face the fact that I no longer enjoy running 24 hour races. My work force doesn’t believe in the long-term goal no matter how much I think it should.

And there’s the rub. I WANT to want it. I want to care like I used to – when watching my mileage climb was one of the most exciting things in my life. But I don’t anymore, and that makes me really sad. I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my identity – the crazy part, I admit, but still. (Okay, there’s A LOT of crazy left, but you know what I mean.)

None of this means I’m going to quit running. Heck, it takes all my self-control just to sit still long enough to type this blog regularly, so there is no danger I will “settle down” (as much as my family would like me to). But I will have to find a new goal for my “work force”, a goal it can believe in and get excited about.

2013 has been a little bit tough – a lot of changes in my life, good and bad, and a lot of big events, good and bad. I’m ready for 2014. Maybe I will take up bottle cap collecting. Or making those belts out of gum wrappers.

Or maybe I’ll just sit back for a bit, eat a couple of sprinkled doughnuts and daydream of being Disney’s oldest Mouseketeer.

Happy Running!





Kim December 16, 2013 at 11:11 am

Oh, I’m sorry – hating what you are doing is never good!!!
I know you will come up with a new plan and way to push yourself that you love (far more than bottle caps or…..)!!!
How was the race (other than not enjoying it)?
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Carilyn December 16, 2013 at 11:26 am

Thanks, Kim. The race itself was great. Aravaipa Running always puts on the best races, and it was so much fun to run with my friends. Physically I felt great, was hitting all my pace goals, etc., but I just wasn’t into it AGAIN. I did come away happy to know where I am fitness-wise, but sad to face the fact that it is time for me to move on.

Kent December 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I followed the race this weekend and have to admit that I was a bit saddened by your dropping out. I want you to know that I understand completely and have thought that you seemed to be heading in that direction recently. Certainly I can’t blame you if your heart wasn’t in it – that’s a LONG time. I often face such a thing even in my fledgling running life and try and turn it into a personal challenge or I recall the excitement of actually running a 5k for the first time and use that to re-energize. I’m still pulling for ya; that perhaps you’ll be back at the 24 some day. I often do my Saturday long runs on the local track and sometimes think of you running the Solstice as inspiration and motivation to suck it up for such a measly distance as I run. All you Solstice runners have my utmost admiration! Looking forward to your future running exploits. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kate December 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Life is too short to put yourself through unnecessary things when they don’t bring you joy. But I can totally see what you’re saying about feeling like you’re losing a part of your identity. Like, “Who will I be if I can’t stun the grocery store checker with my casual mention of some insane race this weekend?” All of us who read your blog, though, are fully aware that your crazy is still in full force. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You know MY vote is adventure racing for your new exploit, but whatever you do I’m looking forward to reading alllll about it.
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olga December 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I shall not be the one talking. Though hating would be too big of a word for my last 100’s drop. Just not fun. In a different, not usual “not fun” way. Yeah, that, and I am carrying some kind of latent infection that drained me of energy, so I have that to blame. I do want to run. I am just indifferent to racing anymore.
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Char December 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Oh thank goodness you’ve come to your senses. This way I get to read your blog and not feel so ashamed of finding a marathon a long, long race.
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Marcia December 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Bleh. I’m sorry you feel this way and I totally get it. This is precisely why I’m coming off of a cutback year. I hope you’re able to rekindle the running fire. You and me both.

Rebecca December 17, 2013 at 6:17 am

I totally get this…at least I sort of do, since I have never run for 24 hours. But I know that it is hard to switch gears when you have been consumed by something for so long. Run different distances for a while. Or you could always take up doing Zumba around the Rose Bowl with that lady. That might be more interesting than making belts out of gum wrappers.
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SteveQ December 17, 2013 at 9:12 am

It was more than a year ago when I said, “I really don’t enjoy these 100 mile trail races – and I don’t enjoy them for a REALLY LONG time,” so I know what you mean. I haven’t run at all for weeks and now I have no real excuse (it’s 24 degrees out, rather than 5, for example) except I just don’t feel like doing it. I keep thinking I’ll be back, that something will light a fire under me, but I think I’m okay if it doesn’t happen.
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Beth McCurdy December 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hey Carilyn, it was so great to meet you at DS. You were running so strong and when you stopped, I had a feeling that it was your heart that wasn’t into it. I’ve definitely had my share of races like this so I know where you are coming from. 2013 hasn’t been great for me race-wise. 2012 was awesome which planted the idea in my head to try for the team. This year, even though I have had a great year speedwise (meaning, I’m still not slowing down YET with age at the shorter stuff) things just haven’t gone well in the 24 hour world. My heart is in it and I want it bad, but I don’t think it’s in the cards for me. There’s a reason why so few people get up near 130 miles! It’s freakin’ hard! LOL. Anyway, I was feeling so good about Desert Solstice and I’m not sure why I had ongoing nausea. I’m not new to the nausea/vomiting issues-had my share-but I’ve learned how to prevent/overcome quickly. Whelp, it didn’t happen this time as much as I tried. 5 hours later, I finally gave up. Nothing would stay down and I couldn’t even walk the track without problems. If we had both known that we were going to end up dropping, we could have ran/walked some miles together and chatted. LOL. Hope to see you again soon at another race. If you ever want to run a race in the Atlanta area, you are welcome to stay at my house!! Take care. ๐Ÿ™‚

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:27 am

Thank you, Kent. I used to be able to re-energize myself, but for now, I think it’s just time to do something different. Maybe someday I’ll hit the track again.

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:27 am

Yes, Kate, there is still plenty of crazy left! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve thought about adventure racing – maybe I’ll give it a shot!

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

Yes, Olga, I just seem to be tired of racing. The love for running is still alive and kicking. We’ll see what happens ๐Ÿ™‚

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

Char, I still think a marathon is a long, long race, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:29 am

Thanks, Marcia – I hope you get your mojo back, too!

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

Rebecca, I would love to Zumba around the Rose Bowl, but I think I would spend too much time laughing at myself to get much of a workout!

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

Yes, Steve, I definitely think some of this stuff comes in waves – and who knows, maybe it’s okay to just let some of it go and try something new. Sounds like you are pretty well-adjusted about the whole thing. I’m not yet, but I’m working on it ๐Ÿ™‚

Carilyn December 18, 2013 at 8:52 am

Beth, it was so great to finally meet you! I’m sorry your race didn’t go as you’d hoped, but I think you will definitely get there! You are a super strong runner! The nausea thing is really frustrating for all of us. No one can seem to predict when it will come on. Every time I think I’ve solved it, something new sets it off. I spent the last 8 hours of Worlds dry-heaving – the worst! I think running for 24 hours is just such a “chemistry experiment” that any little change (weather, hormones, speed, humidity/lack of it, etc.) can upset the balance in an instant. Roy, who’s been doing this forever (and held the AR for awhile) told me that he finally figured out during his “peak” years that he could hope to have 1 good race for every (several – can’t remember the exact number he said) bad races. That made me feel better. I think when we have a great race, we expect every race after that to be fantastic, and unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I also have figured out that the more I “know” about racing, the more I get in my own way worrying about every little thing. When I first started, especially in the 24 hour events, I was so clueless that I think I did well just because I had no idea how hard it should be or how many things could go wrong. Now I do. And it sucks ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope to see you at a race again soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

beth McCurdy December 19, 2013 at 5:40 am

Ahh! Everything you said makes PERFECT sense. Thank you!

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