Six weeks from now, I will be...

running a marathon?  I'm not sure right now.

Photobombing my husband on our run today.  Running is silly.
Here's the thing.  The marathon I want to run (the only one I know...the one I ran last year) is just six weeks and change from now.  It's on Valentine's Day.

Even though I have been averaging 38 miles per week for the past FOUR MONTHS, I have been having major trouble getting in my long runs.  None of them have felt strong.

I am sick.  I know this may be coloring my perspective right now, but I have been battling this current upper respiratory illness for twelve days.  It sucks trying to get motivated for my workouts feeling the way I do.

I have to travel to China for work sometime in the month of January.  The part of China where I work (rural Sichuan Province) is absolutely 100% not a place where a woman could go running outdoors, alone.  It's just not going to happen.

Training for my first marathon was a big goal, but now that I've done that I'm sort of like...what's the point???!  All this running is certainly counterproductive for overall fitness past a certain point.  It crowds out swimming, cycling, skiing, climbing, and all the other "cross training" type activities I used to fill my weekdays with.  It leaves little room for all the plyometrics, strength training, and yoga that actually make me a better athlete.  It can be boring, especially when I'm faced with 1) an hour+ slog on the treadmill, or 2) the same hills and the same catcalls over and over.  

Sure, I can win my age group at local races, but how much more do I have to sacrifice to be a really competitive runner?  Will I keep watching my upper body strength wither away?  Will I get injured again?  (Honestly this is what scares me most, as I sense the tremendous imbalances running more that two hours at a time causes in my physical body.)

How do I get my motivation back?!!?  This is definitely something I want to work on as I move into the New Year.

Once again, I have realized that this week's long run will be a struggle.  My track club has canceled the run in favor of all the New Year's related running activities happening over the weekend.  Eighteen miles by myself?  Probably not.

I went ahead and registered for a trail 20k that takes place this Saturday.  Maybe I'll feel like an additional six miles after the race.  Maybe not.

I think this year will include lots and lots of trail miles.  More raced trail miles.  A triathlon.  Quality time in the pool.  Yoga.  A pregnancy.  Maybe a 50k or even a 50 mile race.  More happiness.  Less injury and fear.

I'm looking forward to it.

(And yes, I reserve the right to retract this post in a few weeks after I am home from my parents', back in a routine, and feeling less despondent and weird.  Maybe.)