This issue of UltraRunning is a new one – it is a “double issue” that combines both December and January. Previously we had a December issue that was followed by our big blast double issue – January/February with Ultrarunner of the Year (UROY) and Year-end statistics. But timing and logistics made it extremely difficult to complete the UROY voting process, tally all the year’s races and prepare an entertaining magazine by the January deadline.
We decided that a February issue dedicated to UROY and the year-that-was would be the best way to provide better and improved coverage. Stay tuned for the February 2018 issue, it will be different, better and maybe something truly special.
In the meantime, you have in your hands what is now a Holiday issue that spans year-end and the new year. With this year now behind us and the new one yet to unfold, now is a wonderful opportunity to take a time-out and make some time for yourself. Life can be hectic if not draining. As an ultrarunner this is likely even more the case as you squeeze in many hours of training, racing and recovering from your chosen hobby.
Now that the year is done, you should ask yourself questions such as: “is my running enhancing my life, or stressing me out?” Or: “what could I change about my running next year to make it more fun and satisfying for me?”
Several of our columnists address this theme in this issue, and our features also provide some insights on these topics. Dylan Cooley’s article, This is Not Your Worth, explores the way in which running can become so goal oriented that we pin too much of our identity and self-esteem on racing performances, which creates stress and can set us up for profound disappointment. If that sounds familiar to you, there is hope. Travis Macy’s article Rx for Post-race Blues provides helpful advice for this malady. And Kyle Boelte’s article Self-supported Long Runs explains the satisfaction they can bring as an alternative to racing. There is nothing like epic adventures that cover long distances in wild places, especially if they are with friends.
Or maybe you would have fun trying something totally new, like skimo, which is becoming many ultrarunner’s favorite winter activity. You can read all about The Skinny on Skimo in Buzz Burrell’s article. Taking it to another level, Dean Karnazes and Cory Reese write about amazing experiences that can be found by running all over the globe.
If you have had a break from ultrarunning, Ann Trason’s article about coming back to the sport in a new way is a helpful and inspiring read. And check out Gary Cantrell’s poem Dreams of the Transcon – what epic runs do you dream about? Maybe it’s time for you to chase them. And Gary Dudney writes about seven unique and old school 100-milers that could be just the spice you need in your life in 2018, and it pairs nicely with Ellie Greenwood’s article on how to choose your first 100-miler.
Before you make running plans for next year, consider new ideas and take some time to check in with yourself to make sure your running is enhancing your life and bringing you happiness. Maybe your ultrarunning is the thing sustaining you, or maybe it could be even better with some tweaks or new approaches.
The holidays are time for family and friends too. With all the “stuff” going on in the world, it’s clearer than ever that time with loved ones is our most treasured asset. At this time especially, be sure to unplug and be present with the important people in your life.
All of us at UltraRunning hope that your holidays provide sustenance and rejuvenation. And that they bring a healthy measure of joy and happiness to you and yours.
May your every run be a great one,