I am excited for my next training cycle. It doesn’t technically start until the beginning of April, but I think I am already into it. I am going to run the St. George Marathon in October with the friends I have met here*. It will be Kelly and Heidi’s first marathon and I am looking forward to having someone to do long runs with again! There is a run from our neck of the woods down to the beach that I have always wanted to do, but didn’t want to do it alone. Now that there is a group of us training, we can do that run together.
Between now and then, I have an even bigger goal in front of me. I am going to take that leap and train for a 50K! Gulp. Did I actually just write that? Yup… I am going to run my very first ultra this year. I have fallen in love with trail running and would love to take it to another level. I love the idea of just focusing on conquering the race and not worrying about PR’s etc. There is also the “communing with nature” factor that is very appealing.
I have had trouble trying to find one to fit in my schedule. I don’t want to do one too soon; I want to be fully prepared. I also don’t want one too late which might interfere with sharpening for St. George. I would love to do this race** in September, however it is only a few weeks before St. George and I am not sure if I would be recovered in time. I am have tentatively chosen Montana de Oro on August 15. It is my husband’s birthday that day, but we talked about doing a family trip up to Morro Bay to either camp or stay in a motel. I love that part of the California coast and have never spent any time there. Even though that is a hot time of the year, the trail goes along the Pacific Ocean, so it should be gorgeous!
My first 25K is tomorrow. I may change my mind after running that. I would have to run the 25K loop twice. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. I’m going to play around with pacing and fueling and see how it goes. I am both nervous and excited. It is a tough course, but I have run a course that has more elevation gain and survived, so I think I’ll be fine.
I am very excited to finally be meeting Penny! She and I have run so many of the same races and never met face to face. She and I have gotten to know each other better through Facebook and Twitter. I know she is happy about the forecast of rain. Me…not so much.
My biggest worry is the river crossing. It comes pretty early in the race (sometime before the 4.3 mile aid station). I am not afraid of crossing the river so much as running twelve miles with wet shoes and socks. I have been told that if you go for drier ground, the “real” trail runners will give you a hard time. Have any of you crossed a creek/river in a race? Any tips, tricks or advice??
For some reason, I didn’t really taper for this race. I am approaching these trail races so differently than I approach road races. I am not sure that is wise. I ran twelve miles this morning. Oops. I went for my regular Saturday morning run with my friends and before I knew it, we had run over an hour before we turned around to run back to the cars. I did stay back with my friend Heidi, who was hurting a bit. We ran/walked the last few miles. I tried to keep the pace slow, but my legs feel a little tired right now. Hopefully, they recover in time for tomorrow’s adventure.
In researching 50K training plans, I found that most of them advocate back-to-back long runs. I suppose that I am doing that this weekend. So tomorrow’s 25K is a training run. I guess that means I am officially training. Woo hoo!!
*if, of course, we get a lottery slot.