Sunday, May 3, 2009

No more races

As of today, I am taking a leave of absence from races. I will let time decide when to start again. Right now it is getting too expensive with the gas, entry fees, and sometimes motel stays. I love running races, but it has become a bit much. I have run 18 races in the last 7 months, all but two were ultras. I have sacrificed quality for quantity. By racing too often, I have not had the results I am capable of posting. I know a few folks that race as much as 100 miles per weekend over long stretches of consecutive weeks. I have realized that way of life is not for me. I am 27 years old, and I would like to enjoy running for the rest of my life.

My priorities have not been in line recently. Over the last couple of years I have lived in four different places and worked several different jobs. Running has been a nice constant, but it has detracted from other things. Since I am gone almost every weekend, I have not had a chance to meet more people in my area. Although I make new friends through running, I know these are people I will not see on a weekly basis. I want to start developing more local relationships with the people in my community. I have been wanting to get more involved in my church, but that is tough when you don't come back home until mid day Sunday when service is already over.

Running is a great thing, and I do love it. However, running is not everything. I get tremendous fulfillment out of running races, and it does give me a sense of accomplishment. But, like many things those feelings are only temporary. I think this is the very reason people can become "addicted" to running. It gives you a high, and every week it calls to you. You find yourself wanting to find bigger, crazier, longer races to get your fix. Once again, I enjoy the atmosphere, the people, and the physical challenge, but for now I have other things I want to focus my energy on.

My future: I'm probably gonna adapt to the idea of running a few focus races. I will continue to run "fat ass" runs for fun. I will know when the time to return is right. However, for the remainder on the spring and summer, I am taking a much needed leave of absence.


Runner Tammy said...

Hi Mike,

You are smart to evaluate your priorities and to live your life in a way that makes you happy and reduces stress.

I will look forward to seeing you sporadically at races and events.

And of course if you ever see a race I am doing and want to crash in a hotel room with Tristan and I, 90% of the time we have a room with a spare bed which we are always happy to share.

Happy Running,

Dan Rose said...

Enjoy your break, Mike. I completely understand...I only run 4 or 5 races a year to keep myself from burning out and committing too much time/life to running. If you feel like coming back for the Cheat Mountain 50 in August, drop me a line. You can hitch a ride out there w/ me...I'm planning on just camping out by the Start/Finish to keep the costs down too!

Michael Huff said...

You have a great attitude, enjoy some time off from the racing scene and let your body recover. You will know when it's time to come back and it might be sooner than you think. Remember that our plans pale in comparison to the Lord's plans and purposes. Stay vigilant in prayer and He will let you know when you are ready. I hope to see you soon.
Semper Fi,
Mike Huff

I am a runner. "We are what we repeatedly do" said...

Dude, you are Number 1!!!!!!!!!!! on the MMT wait list. This is the culmonation of all the prior runs. Come on out to a final party....THEN take a well needed break.

Mike Bailey said...

The timing of the MMT wait list and my decision to take time off couldn't have been more ironic.

At the beginning of May, I was number 18 on the wait list. I had just assumed I wasn't getting in this year. Yet, after a record number of drops, here I am as the last remaining name on the wait list. Haha!

Oh, I love life's timing. Truthfully I do need the rest, and I almos thope to not get in this year, and have priority in following years. However, if I get in, there's always a chance that I could have a break out performace. MMT is quite the stage. We'll see!