What Next?

I have run my first race since returning to all out running and particularly racing which also happened to be my first trail race back in August. A 7 mile (approx.) fairly technical race. Now it is time to move on. I am registered for an 11 mile trail race in October and am looking for a 25K, albeit, not that much longer, of a race, around that same time.

My goal for the 7 miler i.e. The Haw Ridge Trail Race, on 8/6/2010 was simply to make it to the start line with no new injury and finish. I achieved my goal. So what is my goal now for the 11 miler? About the same. I hate to say that. I don't like having mediocre goals but I am still coming back and at the same time going forward to longer races which I have never done and exclusively to trail races of which I now have one under my belt.

The Haw Ridge Trail Race (7 miler) was basically a test. It was an incredibly hot and humid 5:30 pm race. I was sick from about mile 1 until three days later. So I made it there and through without any long term damage and in a decent time, though nothing to put down, 1:21:10, approx. 11:41 min/mile. I have already beat that in training.

Now I am moving to 11 miles of technical trail in the first week of October and I basically have the same goals: get to the start with no new injuries and finish. I would like to make a faster time and will employ a more methodical walk/run interval plan. It will be cooler in October and less humid. It is also a morning race. I am not a morning person but at least I am up and it is over before I have time think about it so much. This race has been planned for some time.

Then what? Well there is another local 11 miler, at the end of October. I may do that just because it is close. However, I want at least a 25K or 1/2 trail marathon in the late fall or early winter. I am currently looking.

After that I want to begin to focus on the 50K. I do not even know what is reasonable time wise. I feel like if I can successfully complete a 25K or equivalent distance in late fall or early winter then spring is a reasonable goal for a 50K. So that is what I'm shooting for. I have not started looking for races yet. So this is tentative but I feel that by Spring 2011, I will truly be an ultra runner.

In the mean time I am spending way too much time running on the road because I refuse to give up the simplicity of going out the front door and taking off for a run. And I am spending too much time procrastinating about putting out the first episode of "Let Me Now Run Live" podcast as well as finding ways to take my running beyond myself.

My 2010 goals have totally changed from January before I cancelled at least 5 races due to injury. I have pulled back and stepped up at the same time. I am taking my time where speed is concerned but my mileage and endurance is moving ahead faster. I also still had road 1/2 marathon and even full marathon aspirations then and now I want to focus totally on trails. I am not saying I will never do another road race but for now until I get at least to the 50K level, I am going to focus on endurance and don't want to do anything to risk not getting to my 50k trail goal in early 2011. This may not be the approved method but then I never did anything normal.

After that? 50 miles? 100 miles? Beyond 100 miles? We will see.

It is all new right now and almost all experimental which makes it that much more exciting. The unknown, facing tasks I have never done, tasks that are somewhat overwhelming and a little scary. Yeah, that is what keeps it exciting. I want to test myself. I am not through yet. I do not want to fade away. I want to push until I cant push anymore and go out in a blaze of glory and that not for a long, long, time.

That is my epic dreams. Well...the ones I want to tell right now. :)