Tomorrow morning I leave for San Francisco to run The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon on Sunday. It was supposed to be my ultra marathon debut, my first dip into the world beyond 26.2 miles. It will, however, be just 13.1. Not too exciting.
Don't get me wrong, 13.1 miles is a long way and I am grateful to be able to come fresh off an injury and run a half marathon. It's just that this was not the plan. And the plan has gone to hell in a hand basket.
The plan was to log three 22+ mile runs in the past six weeks, to weigh less than I have weighed in the last 23 years, to be ready to CRUSH this thing. Alas, Sunday's 13.1 miles will be my longest run in 2 1/2 months, I DO NOT weigh what I did 23 years ago, and the only thing crushable might be me. BUT, it's all good. So, honestly, I'm a little excited.
I have an opportunity to run on a very cool course in the Marin Headlands, climb some hills, and end the year on a positive note (although some of the previous sentences are not so positive). My knee has not hurt in eight days and I am knocking out some decent runs despite the snow and ice. Excitement level rising.
Beyond finishing, I have no goal. The course is tough, but unbelievably beautiful and it's a trail half so I don't know what to expect. I guess I will try to solid going up (course elevation in the pic) and work it on the downside. I want to feel like I gave a good effort, pushed myself, and earned this excursion to cap off the year. Actually, I'm pretty excited.
Saturday's 50 mile championship field is packed. It is a who's who of American ultra running. Max King, Alex Nichols, Chris Varner, Dylan Bowman, Rickey Gates, Magda Boulet, Ellie Greenwood, Rory Bosio. THAT should be very cool. Psyched!
PLUS..... the whole thing is at sea level!!!! Stoke level 7 (and that's on a 5 scale).
Wow, see what we can do? I've turned my own lemons into lemonade. See you on the other side.