That's all folks... ?!?
I've been running for so many years that I hardly remember how it all started. But I do. It was a weekend. With my good friends, Lukasz & Lukasz we hit a party. Business as usual. For the "after-party" we went to primary school grounds. It happened to have a running track and we were sitting in its stands. We didn't care much; we were just content, sipping our beers... Until one of us had this crazy idea to race each other on the track.
It was summer. We wore sandals -- hardly appropriate shoes for running. Not to mention the obvious: we were drunk as skunks. None of this stopped us. We raced a lap. Then we raced two. I don't remember what happened afterwards but I do remember that the following day two of us went for a run. This time sober. And somehow, with me, it stuck.
It was 2003 and running was far less popular than it is now, when it almost seems that there are more runner than non-runners. Actually, back then more than once I got some weird stares from people on the streets; if you were running than meant you were most likely running from something, which meant you were probably a thief. None of this stopped me.
That same year, after running a couple of 10K races, I decided to run a marathon. I hardly knew what that involved. I hardly knew how to train. Again, none of this stopped me. In September 2003 I finished my first marathon in Amsterdam. The excitement that felt after crossing the finish line felt like nothing before. Or after.
It's been 11 years. In that time I run over 20,000 kilometers. I completed 13 marathons in 12 countries (US being the only country that made me bent the rule of never running a marathon in the same country; I decided in that case different states will do). On top of that I ran 8 ultra-marathons, including a tough 50 miler. I also attempted a tough 100 miler, which marked the first time when I DNF'ed (DNF = did not finish). In total, so far, I took part in 49 running races, ranging from 5K to 100 miles.
Running is an integral part of my life. Or is it?
You see it kinda feels like I lost the will to run lately. During my 11 years of running the longest break I had was 4 months in 2006. I don't remember anymore what was the reason. But other than that I only had few breaks of no more than one month due to vacations, injuries, sickness etc.
Now I haven't been running for exactly one month. I'm not injured. I'm not sick. I have ample time. I just don't feel like running. Which is super weird.
A sad consequence of that fact is that I will have to forget about my planned second attempt at a 100 miler. I mean, with my current lack of enthusiasm for running I could probably still do a half assed attempt at a training for that event. But after Chimera I promised myself that the next time I try such a distance, I'll do an adequate training or won't even try.
Alternatively, I could try to force myself to train hard, but that sounds even worse. I run because it's fun. I run because I like to. I don't want to turn it into a chore.
So no 100-miler, it seems.
It's also a pity that I'm not using the fact that I'm here, in California (it won't be for long, it seems), with all those beautiful trails around and I'm not using that opportunity. But for now I'm just doing some cross-training (some strength exercises and a little of: swimming, volleyball, spinning and rowing) and let's see whether my running hunger comes back.
So, is that the end of my running "career" as the provocative title was supposed to suggest? I doubt that. Most likely I need to recharge my batteries and before long I'll be at it again. Let's see about that...