I don't even know what to title this post.

How many times have I written a post on this blog about needing change or lacking motivation? I'm here in that place again. I'm back here wondering what to change to get back my love of running. Don't get me wrong; I still love running. But do I love training? I love races. I've gotten to the point that I'm not all that interested in the miles between races. I feel like I've been there and done that. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything anymore. A run is a run, and some miles are some miles. But what was the point? Let's say I get home on a Saturday morning/afternoon after a long, tough 20 miler. Great. I covered a lot of miles, which many people really can't do, but why did I do it? I keep setting new race goals and signing up for things, but is that really the point of all this? I put in hundreds of miles between races, and most of them by myself. Is the point just to get ready for the next race?

I used to love training. Training is supposed to be hard work, but it's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be the journey and the race is merely a destination. Right now that's just not how I feel. Training has become this giant pain-in-the-ass thing I have to do so I can run a race. Hours on end that just aren't fun to me anymore. I still love the races, but the training time has become something I dread. I don't feel like I'm seeing anything I haven't seen, or accomplishing anything I haven't accomplished. I barely even notice the things on my run anymore. I do a run on a beautiful trail, yet I see none of the trail but the ground in front of my feet. Running those training miles used to be my passion, now it's my chore. It just doesn't reach me the way it used to.

The thing is, I used to love those training runs. I used to find myself in them and lose myself in them. They were my favorite part of every day, and the very reason I looked forward to the weekend. Not anymore. Now it is something I force myself to do after work. Why? Sure, I'm a runner. Sure, I still love to run. But if I am not finding that same passion that used to, why don't I change course? Maybe I've grown to attached to defining myself as a runner, a marathoner, and an ultra marathoner. Of course, I do know you can redefine yourself at any moment you choose. I changed from a lazy couch potato to a marathoner in relatively short time. So why have I become so glued to being a runner that I'm unwilling to explore other possibilities when the passion isn't there anymore?

Over the last few years I have thought about things I want to do, but never do them because I'm too busy trying to get back my passion for running. Sometimes it comes back for a few months, but generally it's been a struggle. So why do I put off these new possibilities? After my most recent race in March, I decided to take some time off to recover and figured the passion for running would come back. Well, it's almost four months later now and I might actually want to run less now than I have in a long time. I even set some big goals to try to get it back, but I really can't seem to grasp onto those goals. Running further or running faster no long capture my interest like they once did. It's time I recognize that and reflect on what it means. Well, I've done that reflection and the realization was that I need to start exploring other things.

I started trail running more than road running several years ago because I wanted to be part of nature and experience the natural world. But when I run, I focus on the destination rather than than where I am. I also feel as I get older a stronger desire to spend time disconnected. Cell phones, Facebook, the internet, modern life. I love all of it, don't get me wrong. But sometimes don't you just want to disconnect for a few days and get away from it? I know I do. Well, for about two and a half or three years now I have talked about taking up backpacking and hiking. The more time goes by, the more I think about it. It sounds like a dream to me. Disconnecting and spending days out in nature walking, carrying everything you need with you, sleeping in a tent under the stars. It sounds hard. It sounds amazing. It sounds perfect.

I'm a man that sits behind a desk making Excel reports for a living. I dream of stepping away from this desk all day every day. I want to be in the world and see the world. I want to experience things. I have limited opportunities to get away and get out in the woods, but I rush through it because in running you are supposed to be faster. Instead I want to take my time and living the adventure. I don't know if this new desire to start backpacking will pan out, or if I'll love it as much as I expect. But I want to find out. I want to try a journey I've never tried before. Here's to the next step...

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