While it's our family mandated routine to wait patiently until November to decide (or shall I say discontinue flip flopping) whether I will return to the the Gore-Tex Transalpine Run (TAR) or not, it took me a little longer this year. After a strong finish in 2016, I returned home feeling a little more beat up, fatigued and run down, so I wanted to take my time, recover and soak up our recent accomplishment. I did very little running in-between the race finish and new year, with my focus being on coaching my PACE clinic series and the Wandering Moose, the last race in the PACE Trail Series. We went on a vacation to the Philippines with our friends Carrie & Nathan, in November, which consisted of zero activity other than snorkelling and daily swims in the sea.
When we came home, I was feeling more rested and ready to start thinking about 2017: Did I want to return to TAR or had I reached a point in my alps journey where I was ready to move on. It ended up being quite a process for me and I used the following to help me in the process:
1. I started off by re-defining what TAR "really" means to me. For better or worse, this does change for me a little every year, based on the different experiences I've had. This lead to me asking if the alps spark was still there or if I was more caught up in the habit/routine. This question was the toughest for me because I wanted to make sure I was truly up for all the hard work ahead of me & not just caught up with the idea. I would be heading into my 9th stage race and 7th consecutive TAR. Could I motivate myself to work hard again this year and if so, how? Despite the long list of things that I absolutely love about this race, did I have what was needed to put the time into training and racing again?
2. Although I had never done this before, I spent some time thinking as though I wasn't going. Then I processed how that made me feel. Did is create a sense of excitement for other races/adventures I haven't considered or been able to do because of TAR? Did I even feel I needed to replace TAR with something else? How would removing it impact my feelings and decision?
3. Part of me pondered if I should just end my TAR journey on a "good note" so-to-speak. Knowing there are no guarantees and anyone who has ran or followed this race, knows shit can go south pretty quick. What if I go back and fail? I was pleasantly surprised that this was the least impactful question in my process. While I hope to return and do well again, my love for this race is more about the experience and memories...and the pizza.
4. I have been fortunate to run Transalpine with three different partners, whom I have equally enjoyed and made some amazing memories with. I am happy to say that I will be returning with Carrie to race as Team Salomon Canada!
During this "process", I am most grateful for good coffee and my husband. Both of which made themselves readily available to me, over several mornings, to discuss all of these thoughts. You would think Trent would be tired of my TAR ramblings by now. Year after year, he has been a huge source of strength and support and a strong deciding part of my return is because of him. #biglove
I found that my love for this race, the alps and partner racing is still strong. See ya soon Germany. In 82 days and counting...