Thinking of Spring
Winter is finally upon us in North-central Wisconsin. With the lower temperatures and the snow, it really is beginning to feel like the Holiday season. I actually prefer running in the cold and dark mornings by head lamp instead of the muggy hot humid weather in the summer. My belief is that you can always put more clothing on when it's cold but when its hot you can only take so much off and you will still be hot (and maybe even arrested if the neighbors complain).
Yesterday I did a nice easy 8.3 mile long run, my longest since the Chicago Lakefront 50 mile Ultra. My muscles feel back to normal and surprisingly my leg turnover seems even better than before. Those three weeks completely off from running seem to have done me some good.
It is now is the off-season but already I am thinking of potential ultras to run in 2008. My family and I will be relocating to Rapid City, South Dakota around or after March. I am looking forward to starting my new job, making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and discovering new running trails. I look forward to the challenge of running at a little higher altitude and steeper terrain than the flat lands where we live now.
For my spring ultra, I am tentatively thinking of doing the Rocky Mountain Double-Marathon on Sunday May 25th 2008 which is Memorial Day weekend. It is only at 8,000 to 8,700 ft or so and mostly on gravel/dirt roads, so it should be very doable. It is located in the Medicine Bow National Forest near the Vedauwoo rocks between Laramie and Cheyenne. They also will be running a half-marathon and well as regular marathon that weekend also. That would be a nice option to have if I end up with an injury or some other problem and am unable to do the entire 52.4 mile double-marathon. From past experience, I have learned to never count on anything in regards to future races and running ability.
A few weeks before this, I am also thinking of doing the Greenland Trail 50-K Ultra on April 18th as a long “training” run before the double-marathon a few weeks later. It is on the Front Range of Colorado between Denver and Colorado Springs. I have friends down there so I would be able to combine that race with a trip to see them.
Later in the summer, there is the Lean Horse Hundred and Half-Hundred run on the George Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills. Obviously, it is much too early for me to be thinking that far ahead in the future. However, if I ever do move up to the 100 mile distance, I think that would be a good one for me to try first, being that it is on a flat gravel bike/hiking “rails to trails” path. Thus, it might be “easier” than some of the other hundred mile races; if it is possible for 100 miles to ever be "easy." They have a very nice Black Hills Gold belt buckle for the hundred mile finishers that I'd love to have someday.
There's plenty of time to dream of future races. For now, I am going to enjoy the off-season and get out to do some cross-training activities such as X-country skiing and snowshoeing. I also am going to make sure to spend some more time with my family; they have been so supportive in putting up with my time-consuming passion.
Keep on running!