Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I've been considering an ultra for several years. However, my half and full marathon races have been run too sporadically over the years to count on a good enough base. Last year, I committed to making a more consistent running lifestyle and have planned some multi-year goals for motivation. The Cincy Flying Pig Marathon and the NCT Run are key events this year to help me focus on keeping in motion.
I'm really thrilled to make it offical with today's registration. It's a big step for me: one that I've looked forward to for a long time and now feel is the right time to make. I know it will be an incredible experience!
I decided to run reasonably close to home. I considered some races out-of-state that follow some spectacular scenery, but I decided to instead focus on a more local venue that by it's own right has some fantastic terrain. It's also a lot easier to travel across state with my family than it is to fly across the country!
course is a 25-mile loop run twice, all within the Manistee National Forest and along the North Country Trail. The NCT is a National Scenic Trail that runs across seven states from New York all the way across the northern part of the country to North Dakota. The trail is administered by the National Park Service, however, much of it is still under construction and its completion and maintenance are very much dependent upon volunteers. The North Country Trail Association is dedicated to this cause and recruits enthusiastic patrons and workers to help this trail remain a treasure.
The training for now is focused on the "Pig" in Cincinnati. This should be a good "warm-up" for a healthy summer of training for the NCTR. I know I will continue to lose weight, build endurance, and pick up a little speed along the way.
I'm prepared for some interesting training runs, including some challenging fatigue-induced back-to-back long runs. What is also going to be unique versus the marathon training is the amount of trail running I'm going to accomplish. Since I love the outdoors and trail running so much, this is an aspect of the training I'm really thrilled to explore.
I'll post some more thoughts and describe the training runs in future posts. For now, I wanted to share the news.
Whether you've ever thought of running an ultra or you're an old pro, consider running this race. It promises to be a challenging, yet satisfying experience. Let me know if your plans include an ultra or if you've committed to this race or another like it. It'll be great to train together!
All the best & Happy Trails!