I’m turning 30 this year, which means that it’s time to stop slacking and do a good birthday challenge. And since I’ve settled down and bought a house and all that crap, it’s time to start fighting the creeping blandness and have an adventure before I start thinking that cooking and home improvement are good hobbies. Also, I need something to take my mind off the fact that I really, really miss California. Colorado’s great and all, but it just doesn’t feel like home yet. So this year, I’m going to run a 50k. Why, you ask, have I chosen a running challenge, since I hate running and love many other things that could be the basis of a challenge (biking, climbing, triathlons, …)? I could have chosen to ride Triple Bypass or do a half ironman or climb 5.12.
Reasons this is a good idea:
– I’m a terrible runner, so this will actually be a big challenge
– My dogs can come with me during training
– This doesn’t require indoor training such as pool swimming or climbing at the gym. I hate exercising indoors.
– Trail running can almost convince me that I’m in the wilderness but with that whole convenience factor of being close to home. Because, let’s be realistic…
– I run really slowly and like to take walk breaks, which makes people give me funny looks during road races but is somehow acceptable on trails
– Trail running is fun (did I just admit running is fun?)
Reasons this is a bad idea:
– I’ve never actually run a marathon before, so let’s just go straight for an ultra?
– I have been battling several running injuries lately, including a neuroma in my foot, that partial Achilles tear (I think) from the JMT, some strange hip/ lower back stuff, and IT band problems.
– Every time I run somewhere pretty in Colorado, I think about how much prettier California is
– Did I mention I’m not really a runner?
So there you go. Looks like the pros win and I’m going to do this. The race I’m planning on doing is the North Fork 50K, a bit southwest of here on a nice section of the Colorado Trail. Because I’m a huge nerd, I have graphed my training plan, and I’m actually about halfway through it already, although I have not exactly been sticking to it. The blue dashed line is my original plan, the black line is what I’ve actually done, and red is the revised plan based on current progress.
I also have two training races planned- one is the Desert RATS half marathon in Fruita this weekend, and the other is the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 12M right near my house, in early June. The race this weekend doubles as a chance to try running with Jeanni, who has a much more insane plan for this summer- Wasatch 100 in September. I am hoping to pace her for one of the 25 mile sections towards the end, but first we need to figure out if I am fast enough to not seriously hold her back, so she is going to run one of the longer races this Saturday (25 or 50M) and then try to run the half with me on Sunday. With me fresh and her tired, it may be a good approximation of what pacing will be like.
My goals for the race this weekend:
1. Have fun, go camping in the desert with friends
2. Don’t make any of my injuries worse
3. Finish before they take the finish line down. (I do not always achieve this goal.)
4. See if pacing Jeanni is at all reasonable
It’s going to be HOT this weekend- highs of 86 on Sunday. I’m totally excited about it because I am so tired of winter! Even though this was the mildest winter in Colorado history, I’m not used to it, so I’m ready to sweat. I’m sure I will regret saying this when I get heatstroke this weekend, but for now it sounds nice.