Motivation is not as it should be right now. People are planning races left and right while I can't see further than Finalloppet on Saturday and the Ultra Intervals next weekend (which I'm VERY excited about – crossing all fingers that I'm healthy so that I can participate). Spring's calendar is chock full of ultras, anything from ”sprint distance” 50 km to more than any normal person could conceivably run. Sweden has probably never seen anything like it before, with so many races to choose from. Hardly a weekend without an ultra. Ultra runners are rejoicing at the smorgasbord of choices. And I'm just feeling...meh. Not about running itself, just about raising the bar higher and setting new goals.
I've been dreaming about doing ultras for ages. After crossing the 50 km limit last August, I started believing that anything was possible. And I still do, up to a point. I can imagine myself aiming for distances of up to maybe 75 km, or even 100 km. Then it just gets ridiculous. Could I really do more? And would I even want to?
The fact that I'm currently so unmotivated to set new goals and so indifferent to something that, until recently, was so important to me is scary and depressing. I'm taking a long, hard look at myself and wondering what's changed. Is it my thigh injury that's made me realise how difficult such an endeavour is? Is it the fact that my mind's been preoccupied with other important things and my energy leaks towards them? Or is it the pressure of setting a date and then training just for that?
Running is my passion; I don't want that to change. Nor do I want to settle for routine. There's nothing that can put out the flame like running the same 5 km round every day, every month, every year. It's important to have goals, and since I neither can or want to run fast, mine have been about increasing the distance. So what is it? What's wrong?
I believe it's the race thing. It's the ticking one item off the list thing. It's the arbitrary division of distances as goals. Suggest a social 82,6 km run with lots of breaks and chatting, on the other hand, and I'll sign myself up in the blink of an eye. Even if I don't get the medal that proves I'm an ultra runner (though, I admit, should I get that far, I'd probably try and round it up to an even 85 km. I have issues). Somewhere along the way, there must have been an internal shift from doing this to prove to myself that I can, to just doing it because it's fun.