Pondering Portland


After determining that stress was a limiting factor in my training, I’ve been madly racing through my house for the past 2 years or so, desperate to drop the mental weight of all the clutter I no longer wanted to carry in my life.

Through this process, I have learned to see myself for who I am and who I have previously aspired to be.  I have wanted to continue to progress as a runner, but perhaps I’m not the same runner or person I used to be.  Maybe less gear is more.  Maybe the same events I used to do aren’t working for me anymore.

Portland Marathon 2016.  Not only did I not finish, I did not show up for the start…again.  This time, I got up to 19 miles in my long runs and my training was going perfectly fine.  There were no nagging pains, and my energy levels were good.  Yet, when my travel plans hit a snag, I found myself making excuses as to why I wasn’t going to attend the race.

I blamed my no-show on travel costs, but I suspect there was a bigger reason.  Expensive hotels, crowded starts, a swag bag I was going to donate, and a giant race expo filled with stuff I already owned and did not covet.  It just didn’t feel like me anymore.

I know I still love running as much as ever, but these races are starting to evoke the same dread and overwhelm as heading to a shopping mall on Black Friday.  I think I want more miles, more nature, but less hype.

Robert Frost said it best:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

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