This is probably a conclusion to the 3 day series of what I want to do this year. I struggled with motivation in the past and it hits hard especially after running a tough race. The last quarter of 2021, I literally gave up on my training. There were many reasons to why but one main one was finding the joy doing what I like to do.
Usually though if I forced myself to go out and run, I would feel extremely good afterward. This was how I restarted my training this year. Running in itself is not a problem but starting off is.
On a very cold night, it was near midnight, I haven’t run during the day though knowing I should. Usually, when I about to run, there are countless reasons of why I shouldn’t, like it is cold, I’m hungry, it is dark, it is late, I feel tired, I have better thing to do, or I like to veg and do nothing, etc. They are valid reasons too. I could either go to bed and wait till the next day. With me, if I stop, the next day becomes another day and I know I won’t get started. So I went out and finished the run around 2 in the morning especially on the night deemed the coldest night of this winter.
I felt very good afterward. Exhilarating good. Good thing is I think the next day was either a weekend or a holiday. But I got my run in.
This past week was mostly like that. I got home from work and though I did not want to go out but somehow I did. I did my run. It has been sort of consistent. One day run and one day rest and another day run.
I came across during the last few weeks on how to find motivation from others (streamers). I took my inspiration from them because many times I see them doing seemingly no-end-toiling especially musicians and artists when they did their “performance” and no one gives a hoot. I was wondering if it even worths their time. Yet the answer is they enjoy what they are doing. So doing a 4 hour stream is not much a drag. In fact they are thrilled if even one person out there appreciates their work.
Every time when I go out for a long run (2-3 hours) I think of them. Granted running 4 hours vs sitting at a desk for 4 hours requires much more energy. But I think the main thing I struggle with is not the energy but the will and desire. Seeing other professionals (streamers) doing it helps my mindset. When I get to that state, it becomes timeless and time does not matter and I could run till daybreak. The feeling that comes after is undescribeable. Yes, it is like breaking a dam. Though with my training, I try to control that dam and not break it until race day.
On a bigger goal – I looked at my to-do bucket list, many of the items I am no longer as enthusiastic today to do them as when I first put them on my list. For example, I wanted to run in all fifty states in the US. A few years ago, it seemed so hard and impossible but now it is doable and I could theorectically finish it in a year or two in one big tour. I feel like it is such a drag out goal to only do a race or two at a time. I don’t know whether the challenge is no longer there or something deeper. I wanted to feel that initial excitement not knowing the endpoint but thrill to take them on.
How to have a fulfilling life someone asked? I usually have no problem in finding meaning in my life. I think the answer though can help me find reason to tackle my to-do list. Someone said to have a fulfilling life is finding that something that resonates inside.
Another person said, the key is constantly seeking something more challenging than what was done before.
Initially, I ran a marathon because it was death-fearing (freaking) hard! I am a wimp – I think everything is impossibly hard. But now I did it, a marathon is still hard but it is no longer that line that keeps me “normal” and the other side, the scary unknown. I think, in order to keep the passion, is not just to run another marathon or 50 marathons. I have to seek something beyond that at a whole next level. I sound like an addict.
I think what tired me out is doing relatively the same thing over. In the mind, I feel I get a handle of things. In order to do something exciting, I have to step out to the unknown. Often for me, it means something more dangerous.
I’m not sure if that makes me a thrill seeker. I had step into the ultra marathon stage now, having done two last year. Looking back they were not that hard, they just need training and anyone can do it. So I have been flirting with the 200 mile race as well as running across the continent. I want a goal so big that I look at it, no way I can do that.
Back to earth, I did some house keeping (boring task) with my races, by signing up, cleaning up my race schedule, etc. I set my sight on running the Blackbeard 100 miler in 2023. This race has been on my radar since it first announced a few years ago and I have been following it. At the time, it was completely out of my league, but now I think I can do it.
The future is unknown. I wish I have a clear vision how I can get from here to there. Until next week then…life goes on meanwhile.
oh, about the Waterfall 50K, it was canceled/postponed till next week because of snow in our area…it could have gone on, but no one likes being in the news of 100 runners and volunteers stuck/lost on the mountain and requiring rescue. The RD canceled it ahead of time.