I started track&field in 1987, and specialized in sprints more than twenty years ago. After my semi-official retirement in early 2006 followed some years where I didn’t compete at all (2006-2008, 2010). In the past few years, I occasionally came out of retirement, but most of my recent performances have hardly been something for the record books. Sprinting (and training for it) has been a large influence in my life; and continues to be something I feel passionate about. However, over the course of the last few months I’ve had no track training that was without pain in my left achilles; and increasingly it’s becoming a pattern that if I do a sprint training one evening, I can’t run or even walk without a limp the next day. This is neither enjoyable nor healthy. Just like in 2006 when I put a stop to my athletics career for the first time, doctor visits and physiotherapy haven’t brought a significant improvement (the pain always returns with the next athletic effort). So I suppose it’s time to reevaluate.
For a while already, I’ve been thinking about athletic challenges that go beyond a 100m sprint on a track. I’m increasingly drawn to runs that involve nature, and would love to be more active in the mountains. I also seem to suffer less after 10km on a trail – even with 500m of elevation change – than running a handful of 300m repeats on the track. So from here on out, I hope to re-orient my athletic pursuits towards the longer distances, in the hope that I will be less prone to injuries. I’m not closing the door entirely on track activities, but I suppose it will be healthier for me to trade the red or blue of a synthetic track for the brown, green or grey of the great outdoors.
Like most people I’m living a life that’s centered around sitting in an office for eight hours a day. I tremendously enjoy reading about the athletic pursuits of ultra runners, climbers and adventurers who get to spend hours, if not days, out in the mountains. I’ve always held the belief that it’s unhealthy to just “consume” other people’s achievements; and important to get involved in the sport and build your own experiences. From here on out, this blog will hopefully see more activity.