This is the week of double-double digits. This week I run over 20 miles for the first time. Ever. Just thinking about completing my upcoming 21-miler gives me goosebumps. You see, it still hasn't dawned on me yet. I...am...a...distance...runner. A small part of me already knows this, but there is another part that still isn't convinced. Maybe after Sunday...
Really I should have been convinced when I decided to stick another half marathon in between now and my full marathon because, heck, it's just a little half, right? Somebody please slap me. A half marathon is beyond the ability of the vast majority of humans on this planet - even the ones who most would consider athletic!
Take a look back at where you were a year ago, red. At this time last year, you were fretting about being able to complete the Lilac Festival 10K on Mackinac Island. You were worried about finishing! This year you're having trouble finding time to squeeze in a few "short" 10Ks in between half marathons, 20Ks, 25Ks and full marathons. Funny what a difference a year and LOTS of hard work can make.
If anyone reading this post is wondering how to advance up the distance ladder, this is how I did it... I simply registered for a race that I knew I couldn't do at the time I registered! I made sure it was far enough in the future to give me time to prepare safely, then hit the "register" button on the screen. Being registered for a non-refundable race provides LOTS of motivation to train! Once I completed a 10K, I did the same for a 10M. Then I registered for a half marathon and finally, you guess it, a full. Next up will be a trail full marathon with the possibility of an ultra in this little redhead's future.
Speaking of races, I just learned of an awesome new running event that will take place at the end of September, put on by those awesome, wacky folks at Running Fit (the same who brought us the Martian Invasion of Races). This new event is called Run Woodstock and takes place over an entire weekend. There will be several distances involved - all trail races - including a 5K, 10K, 13.1M, 26.2M, 50K, 50M, and 100M!!! WOW!!! Details are still pretty sketchy as I'm sure it is still in the initial planning stages, but it sounds like a weekend of running, partying, camping, running some more with a little more partying thrown in. I am SOOO in!!
In anticipation of my handful of trail races this year, I hit the trails at Bald Mountain North today. I did a moderately easy pace along the same route as the Mountain Man race I won a few weeks ago. I forgot my watch but didn't miss it one bit. I took my Nathan hand-held water bottle to start getting used to carrying it again. I'm trying to decide whether to use it in upcoming trail races or not. I hardly noticed carrying it today, so there's a good chance it will be racing with me in the near future!
The trail was exceedingly muddy! WOOO!!! I came home caked in dirt and had to hose down my shoes before taking them to the balcony to dry off. Snow from earlier this week was still on the trails. Lots of trees mean little sun hitting the snow equals slow melt! Traction was an issue in places. It was an awesome full body and mind engaging run! Now THAT'S trail running!