While 2017 was a year of making decisions and creating 1-, 5-, and 10-year plans, 2018 is the year when I implement them! As I mentioned in our 2018 goals post, my goal this year is to run mindfully — which means, for me, running and resting in a balance that is appropriate for my body and life demands. My training for 2016 and 2017 may have looked inconsistent to an outside observer — with a new job each year, moving, and the added stress that goes along with both, I was able to train hard only a portion of each year. Despite inconsistency, however, my race results from the past two years have been the best of my running career: two first place finishes, one third place, and one finish in the top five. While placement is not my most important running goal, in ultramarathons it can be a more appropriate indicator of progress than time, as a 50-mile race on one course can be very different than a 50-mile race on another.
As I am learning how to balance life with training, I hired a coach for the second half of 2017, hoping that by designating a professional to make training decisions for me, it would free me up mentally to focus on other things, like growing Salty Running, my professional career, and my personal life. Unfortunately, having a coach didn’t work out like that for me (which could, of course, be due to a mismatch between me and my coach). What I learned is that I’m not ready for someone else to make my training decisions until I understand and, more importantly, listen to what my body is saying. Am I tired? Hungry? Lacking motivation? Should I run today? These are things I need to figure out.
And I’m going to have to do it on my own.