Some Days I Cry

I can’t do it anymore.

I can’t do balance anymore.

I can’t spread my heart around anymore.

I wish I could be able to focus on running, my job and relationships, but I can’t.

I feel like this is a “pick two” situation and one is automatically my job.

I’ve tried. I want to have enough emotional and mental bandwidth to have deep connections with people, to let myself be vulnerable and give/recieve love. 

But I can’t.

Some days I cry. 

I cry because I want so bad to have it all. I want to be 100% with running, work and relationships, but I can’t. I cry because I want to want those things. I want to be happy waiting for or looking for close relationships. I want to be someone who wants to be with people, who wants to find something. But honestly, being alone is easier. 

Not having feelings is easier than feeling real feelings about others. If I remain at a distance, if I put a block on it, I can never be disappointed. I can block out the stress building. I can pretend that being alone is what I want, when really it’s just easier.

I talked about stress in an earlier post, and part of it comes from this. I want to give myself to emotional connection to other people, but to be honest and blunt, that shit wears me out. I feel exhausted in my own head. My stress manifests in niggles and pains, which makes running terrible.

It’s not worth it to me. I’d rather be alone.


I want to run everyday without fear that I’ll break.

I want to smile and laugh with myself. I want to lose myself in the trails, the roads, the track, not in someone else.

Why? Because running never changes. It will be both hard and easy, produce highs and lows, be familiar, yet change everyday. In short, it’s dependable. It’s straight with me. I don’t need to use my brain to decode the signals running gives me. It doesn’t send mixed messages. 

If I must chose two of the three and one is my job, the other will be running. 

I just can’t with humans right now. I can’t let myself be open. Being open means high highs, but low lows. I’d rather be content and injury free then put faith in someone who might let me down. 

I’m done.


It’s running and me. Till the end.

Recover and Rebuild

I bounced back pretty quickly this week. By Wednesday I didn’t feel any soreness in my legs and the fatigue had lifted. I did not push anything this week because it wouldn’t really benefit me.

Instead of soreness, I have been dealing with an issue in my Achilles tendon area which has made running anything over around 8:30 pace more uncomfortable that I’d like. Therefore, I have not run over 8:30 pace and have crossed trained instead of run twice this week. I am also making a larger attempt to ice and take ibuprofen.

Right now I feel at peace with where I’m at, but also just want everything to feel “right” again. I simply want to go out for a run without worrying about doing damage. It is kind of anxiety producing, but what can I do? This winter was rough, in more ways that one.

I believe I underestimated the affect moving to a new city would have and taking on a job with more responsibility. I wanted to train hard immediately upon moving whereas I probably would have benefited a slower build up, more half marathons than ultras and less training. I have been able to run mileage like this before, but had a more comfortable and familiar life. I knew my routes, I knew people, I knew my job responsibilities and I felt comfortable.

I also did not feel like I had to maintain my “runner” persona, as I was still building a racing resume. I put pressure on myself this season to “be something”, whatever that meant. I still only run because I love it, but I wanted to build on what I had rather than be cautious and learn to navigate my new city and life.

All the stress adds up. I got more niggles these past few months than I’d like. I had to take more time off than I’d like and right now I would settle for just feeling normal rather than anything else.

I have learned a few things about myself so far in 2017:

1.) At least one day off of running each week

2.) No mileage goals

3.) Running needs to still be a hobby for me, and not pressured

I have a few new goals I’d like to work towards in the foreseeable future:

1.) Effort based speed workouts OUTSIDE

2.) Easy days must remain easy and conversational

3.) Hill workouts instead of a second speed day

4.) Get to the trails on the weekends

Again, these goals are loose and I’ll do what I can. If I get up at 5AM or earlier, speed workouts will be on my treadmill. However, I will attempt to move things around so I can get outside. I would like to find a track, (doing it on my easy run tomorrow) to do speed workouts. This will be a learning process, but something to work towards.

Finally, I will continue to try and heal my heel area. I am young and I need to remember that I have tons of time left for running. Easy, slow runs and rest days will only benefit me in the long run.

Rest, rinse, repeat.

Simple Almond Butter and Molasses Energy Bites

Head over to my Instagram today for a Barney Butter giveaway!

During my race last Saturday, or really during any long run this season, I have been experimenting with eating different foods to see how they go down. I really only have three requirements:
1.) Tastes good

2.) Doesn’t cause GI upset

3.) Easy to carry and eat on the run


The taste factor is usually number one, because after a few hours of running, I don’t care how it looks when I’m eating or how messy it is, I just want to mow down some calories. Aid stations are perfect for me, because I usually try everything and see what sticks.

This time, I went to buy some Gu Chomps at my running store, but could not justify the price. So I decided to make my own. These energy snacks helped power me through the miles in my last race and I think they worked really well. They stayed together, were easy to make and tasted great.

Try out these energy bites for your next long run or race! @BarneyButter and molasses keep these delicious and nutritious! #runningfuel #ultrarunner Click To Tweet

One ingredient I wanted to omit in these bites was dates. I don’t usually have them in my pantry anymore and actually, a lot of people I talk to don’t either. These bites do not use dates, but almond butter and molasses to keep them together. The bulk of the recipe is oats, which has always sat well with me.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Simple Almond Butter and Molasses Energy Bites

From at

Prep: Yield: 18Total:

You'll Need...

  • 1/2 c almond butter (I used Barney Butter Raw and Chia)
  • 1 c oats
  • 1/2 c almond meal (I used Barney Butter fine almond meal)
  • 1/4 c agave syrup
  • 1 T molasses
  • 1/2 c coconut
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Melt almond butter, agave and molasses together in the microwave.
  2. Combine oats, almond meal, coconut and sunflower seeds in a small bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  4. Shape into balls.
  5. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for Barney Butter and was sent their almond butter and almond meal with which I created this recipe. All opinions are my own.

The Naked Prussian 50 (…er 40) Miler

One of the most unique things about running is that no matter how many races you do or miles you run, there is always something new to experience. This past Saturday, I experienced my first DNF: Did Not Finish

Initially, this could be seen as a bad thing, however I am choosing to think of it on the positive side because that is exactly what it was.

I chose to run this race, located on the beautiful trails around Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, PA because I was itching to get on some trails. It was also a really cheap race and had great reviews. The Naked Prussian marathon and 50 miler is the second race in a series of races put on by Uber Endurance Sports. A few weeks ago they held the Naked Bavarian consisting of a 20 and 40 mile event.

I should have run the marathon. I would have finished strong and had a good day out there. However, I got really excited at the premise of finally getting on some trails that I signed up for the 50 miler.

Before the race I told myself that my goal was to finish one loop (the course was 2 loops of 25 miles). I had convinced myself that dropping out of a race this early in the season was smarter than being injured. After that I was permitted to drop at any point based on how I was feeling.

The race began at 7:00AM on April Fool’s Day. I stayed the night with a few SHVP teammates in Philly (shout out to ERIN! The pizza was amazing!!). That meant a 2 hour drive on race morning, but I was totally chill with that. Gives me time to wake up and eat something before the start. I had all my stuff ready and two drop bags for the midpoint. I was trying some new stuff this go around, some homemade energy balls. They were delicious and held up well. I also had my standard Run Gum and Barney Butter in my pack to eat between aid stations.

The first loop felt good until mile 20. I enjoyed the trails, how soft the ground felt on my feet and the beautiful day. It rained a lot the day before so it was a bit muddy in sections, but the trails drained beautifully. At around mile 20, I started to have some gut issues. Not sure what the deal was, but it made mile 20-30 mentally rough. I hit the halfway point in about 3:51, so at least I kept a good pace.

Finally at mile 30 I got in a good bathroom stop (that’s all I’ll say there) and things started to look up. I drank a lot of Mountain Dew at an aid station (I thought it was Gatorade but I’m not complaining) and felt a small spark in my legs. All that sounded good was nut butter and banana, so I ate a lot of that throughout the race, switching between almond butter and peanut butter.

At mile 37, my legs started to get that “uh-oh” feeling. They were telling me I wasn’t ready for 50 miles yet. After all, I haven’t run more than 20 miles since my 50 mile race in December, so that feeling made sense. At the mile 40 aid station, they were really starting to cramp. I talked to the guys at the aid station and told them I thought I should drop. They told me not to because I could walk the last 10 miles and still win. That’s how far ahead I was. I started out from that aid station, but immediately my quads said no. It was a firm NO YOU IDIOT DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A SEASON?!?!?!

So, I walked back to the aid station in tears and dropped. It was sad. I called my sister and teammate Sam and they were so insightful and kind to my blubbering.


To be honest, I accomplished my goal and got in a solid training run. I feel proud with the effort and will not let some arbitrary DNF define me. It was never my goal in running to have a perfect record. For once, I made the smart decision and stopped running when it hurt.

This morning, I could barely move, so I made the right decision yesterday. I don’t want to think about where I would be if I kept running.

I will definitely be back to those trail if not this year then next year. I was to train my body to be someone who can handle occasional high mileage weekends like this, but that will just take years of consistent running.

I would like to thank my team Red Newt Racing and Strong Hearts Vegan Power for all their support. I would also like to thank my sponsors On Running for the shoes I raced in, the Cloudadventure and Barney Butter for the race fuel.


Onward and upward (after I can move again)…