I’m less than a week away from the start of my marathon and ultra season. The Rock Cut Hobo Run 50K is this coming Sunday morning out in Rockford, Illinois. I’m already signed up for two more distance runs in October.
And this past weekend I found myself wondering… Could I sign up for a few more?
Oddly, my brain always wanders in these fanciful directions during weeks when I’m not running all that well. Last week wasn’t really a bad week, but it was, sort of, a recovery week after a fantastic, but intense week right before.
For some reason, though, when I’m on a good stretch, I don’t think about running new races. You might think it would all happen the opposite way, but I don’t know, maybe it’s a good thing. It's good that when things aren't going great, that I focus on optimisitc things. Like conquering newer, bigger mountains. It’s the power of positive thinking, right? Right!
So, this all really starts with my one failure for 2008: I didn’t run my first 100-Miler like I had planned. I was signed up for the Cascade Crest 100 in Washington State. The race was in late August, but I had to bow out months before when I started doing math and realized how expensive the trip was going to be. Then, because of a heavy work schedule, I was unable to find another century race that I could attend and train for. So, I’ve had to put my first 100 off ‘til 2009.
In the meantime, I stumbled across a 100K being staged in Chattanooga in late December! Still not 100 Miles, no (it measures to 62.14 miles) but still, 100 something – and it would be the longest race I’ve ever done, so I’m still breaking some new ground.
Chattanooga is really close to where a lot of my dad’s family lives, so I’d probably be able to find someone to stay with (and maybe get some familial support out on the course). And since it also isn’t terribly far from where my parents live outside of Atlanta, it would be easy to add it in to my trip home for Christmas this year.
It will be an inaugural race and the website isn’t too detail yet, so I’m waiting to sign up – there’s no hurry – but it very much has my interest.
But, now, if I’m going to do a 62-miler at the end of December, I’ve got to do something to keep my legs sharp between then and the last Ultra I’m currently signed up to do at the end of October. I mean, that’s two whole months of Ultra running I could be doing to build myself up for 60 miles over Lookout Mountain!
Several events currently have my eye. There’s a 50K staged on the Chicago lakefront on November 1st. It’s a totally flat course, so the times are always pretty quick. I could see what kind of speedy PR I could set for the distance.
But the Lakefront 50K is still too early for the 100K. Maybe I could also run the Tecumseh Trail Marathon at the beginning of December. It’s just outside of Indianapolis, a relatively short drive from home. Heck, 26 miles thru the woods would be, like, easy after all the Ultras! Like a walk in the park, right?
Or I could try going back down to Otter Creek State Park to run the trail marathon they hold there every year. I ran that course back in 2006 just 5 days after my debut marathon in Chicago. They staged a special version of it for Dean Karnazes when he was running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Now I could finally go back and run it for real. I think they do it in the first or second weekend of December.
I know it all seems a little obsessive, but if I'm going to do a 60-mile ultra, I've got to do long distances in training anyway. I might as well run them on race days when I'll get a lot of on-course support and a nice medal at the end, right? Right!
Oooooh, the possibilities! I’m going to visualize this fantasy world a while, maybe make some decisions. Then again, maybe this week i'll be running like the wind again and the whole crazy scheme will get forgotten.
I'll have to get back to you....