It's never easy to decide against doing a race when you are healthy and fit. Harder still is pulling the plug on one of your absolute favorite events that you've had nothing but success at.
It's taken me quite some time to come to terms with this, but I won't be lining up at the HURT 100 in just under one month's time. If you follow me on any training sites such as Strava or Movescount you've probably been thinking "what the hell, is he not posting his workouts right now" (I realize none of you are paying that much attention but let's pretend).
As a quick visual reference above, I gave it a solid shot upon returning from South Africa on December 1st, but by December 10th I was questioning my decision in pursuing HURT in such a close time frame to the Salomon Skyrun (the triple on the 7th is actually a double in which I stopped my watch early).
I've struggled mightily with motivation over the last ten days so I went ahead and got blood work done to ensure I wasn't facing any base line issues with ferritin (iron) or anything else for that matter. I received my results yesterday and my numbers were up across the board, as in it was the best baseline blood work I've actually had in many years, at least since I started training harder. I was kinda hoping for the opposite in which I'd be able to see what was causing my fatigue, and really in the end, that told me all that I needed to know. It's time for a break right now. Thankfully there are no injuries and no baseline blood indication of issues, so those two things are to be celebrated I guess.
Through further assessment I realize that I usually take scheduled downtime in the fall and then ramp up for HURT through a huge mileage push in December. The fact that I somehow hoped I could pull off one of the hardest 100km races out there in the Salomon Skyrun (a difficult 13h46m effort) and then turn around and tackle one of the hardest 100 mile races out there just 8 weeks later was a bit of a pipe dream.
The hardest part about this is that I'm confident I could show up in Hawaii and still have a very good, even great race, just piggy backing off of my current fitness. However, I no longer make race to race, month to month decisions like I used to. I step back, assess a year or more, and ensure I'm taking care of my body and my mind/soul/heart in all that I do. My mind needs this more than my body, and in the end the mind gets what the mind wants. You take the good with the bad and the strength with the weakness. There are a series of cheques and balances that need to be met, and I'm currently tapping into my overdraft. It's there, it works, but it's never a good idea to do so.
On the bright side, MORE WINE, MORE BEACH, MORE FUN, LESS STRESS...hey, wait a sec, why haven't I thought of this before?
Merry Christmas to each of you, I hope Santa is good to you this week.