Thursday, July 23, 2015

Do or do not, there is no try

Hopefully I"ll be drinking some
Firestone Walker beer post race!
It appears my quiet little Facebook Post wasn't obvious enough. I'm assuming this because I have yet
to receive a call/text from my mom about it which will surely change after this post. Let's cut to the chase, the suspense is killing me....I signed up for another 50 miler! Yep the seed was planted a few weeks ago at Bull and Bush and it germinated on Saturday as I made my first venture out on a trail run post 50k. By Monday I had convinced myself it was a good idea and by Tuesday afternoon I was entering in my credit card info and shirt size. Here are the details:

The North Face Endurance Challenge

Where: Golden Gate National Recreation Area San Francisco, CA
Length: duh..50 miles
Date: December 5, 2015

A couple big things stand out for me regarding this race. First of all, I've never done a long race (or really any race) in the fall. I tend to cram all of my running in to the spring/early summer. Because of that schedule most of my training begins in the fall and ramps up in the early spring. In the past this was largely due to the Ultimate frisbee season and needing to be sprint/frisbee focused May - October. With the series getting pushed earlier each year and my gradual fade away from competitive ultimate the fall is becoming more and more enticing for races. Also the thought of running long distance in September/October sounds so much more refreshing than June/July. I'm not used to logging a lot of miles in the summer and that's about to change quickly. I did a quick draft training plan and looks like it starts for real on Monday!

I'm planning on putting in a bit more effort with longer runs this go around. Especially working on nutrition for longer runs. While I feel successful with my food intake as of late, one good 50k isn't going to make me forget one not so good 50 miler. I really need to test out a lot of different food combos on longer runs and the only way to do that is to...test out a lot of different food combos on longer runs. I've got a couple training races I'm eyeing to help with this; the Black Squirrel Half and/or the Blue Sky Marathon in Fort Collins. I'm also trying to coordinate a 30ish mile run over Kenosha Pass into Breck with my bud Carissa.

Second standout for me is location. In looking at my running history, I've only really run races on trails I'm familiar with. Almost every race I've done I either trained or did a shorter race on the same trails. The two exceptions being Sage Burner 50k and the first time I did Quad Rock. Salida I ran the half prior to the marathon and I ran so much of the North Fork course prior to the 50 miler almost nothing was a surprise. Here I'm not only running on unfamiliar trails, but in a completely different state, at a different elevation, and a course profile much different than the mountains of Colorado.

In addition to a new terrain, I'm out of my comfort zone for support. North Fork was 40 miles outside of Denver. My lovely crew was able to load me in to a car, into a shower, and into bed without having to negotiate much else. California means a hotel or some other sort of lodging and a plane ride (+airport security). Oh yes, and a crew...40 miles is much different than a plane ride away. I checked in with some friends and got enough potential interest that I felt comfortable pulling the trigger and signing up for the race. True, convincing people to come to California in December isn't hard. However, it's not all fun and games since I need people to help support/pace/reassemble body parts at the airport. So if you are thinking it's a vacation, you've got to reevaluate.

All in all this is going to be a challenge and I'm excited for it. I'm excited to tackle another 50 miler and do it on what will be a beautiful course. I've been all talk the last few weeks about races so I'm glad I made the commitment and put a race on the calendar. Do or do not, there is no try.

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