Looking Back & Looking Ahead

Way back in early January, when this blog was still just a wee newborn, I set one major running goal:

I wanted to run farther than I had ever run before. 

On May 26, 2013, I kicked this goal in the ass by running 5 miles farther than ever before in the Dirty German 50k.
However, I also set four smaller, more discrete running goals for 2013. Click here to read more.  I just realized today that I have accomplished three out of four of these goals, with only one left to conquer.

1) Run my first trail race. CHECK. (Tyler Trail 10k, 55:06)

2) Run my first trail marathon. CHECK (Delaware Trail Marathon, 5:22)

3) Run my first ultramarathon. CHECK (Dirty German 50k, 5:55)

Which only leaves me with one goal left.....

4) Run my first 50 mile race. 

I'm not gonna lie, this one still terrifies me, even after accomplishing every other goal for the year. When I saw the 50 mile runners continuing on for a third loop as I finished my second and final loop for 50k, I nearly cried for them (instead I cried for myself, thanking God that I was finally done with 31 miles.) Nonetheless, I remember the days when 13.1 terrified me, and I now know it's all about perspective and training. Also, the fact that this goal is so crazy and unfathomable, even to myself, makes me want this one even more.

So let's talk about the future....

First, I know that I need CONCRETE goals in order to train hard. For me, that usually comes in the form of non-refundable race entries. Unfortunately, I can't sign up for my goal 50 miler until August, but until then, I will be pretending that I have already registered for the Stone Mill 50.  I will also pretend that I cannot cancel my already booked hotel room.
In order to prepare for this big, scary race, I will be running a series of smaller races to get in shape and test out my fueling and hydration strategies:

 Big Elk 1/2 Marathon

First, I will toe the line at the Big Elk 1/2 Marathon in Elkton, Maryland on June 22nd.  I definitely had to talk down my crazy, stupid brain several times from signing up for the full marathon. In fact, running the full 26.2 crosses my mind daily, but I know that I need a break from long distance races in order to recover and prepare for the fall race season. So I'm making the smarter choice and running the half, which will be a lot of fun, especially since I haven't run a half marathon since I set my PR back in 2010. It will also be my first official trail 13.1.

Vermont 50k

Next up will be the Vermont 50k on September 29, which I've been going on and on about for months. I was originally planning to run the 50 miler, but I wanted to give myself a break in training and knew I would not have enough time this summer to adequately prepare for the full 50 miles. So I'll head up to Mount Ascutney to tackle some tough trails with a lot of elevation, all while taking in the gorgeous fall foliage.

The Bourbon Chase

On the weekend of October 18th & 19th, I'll be participating in the Bourbon Chase Relay in Kentucky with some fast friends. I'm not really sure what to expect since I've never run a relay, but I'm sure my charming personality array of treats will outweigh my slowest-chick-on-the-van reputation.

Stone Mill 50

Finally, I will run the Stone Mill 50 on November 16, 2013 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I have a very special place in my heart for November races. I ran my first marathon in November, and my current marathon PR was also set in November. I'm hoping the magic will transfer to my first 50 miler, along with the support of lots and lots of training miles.
There are big things ahead. Keeping this in mind, I am not running much any time soon, and I'm focusing fully on recovering from the 50k. I have my first Ultimate Frisbee game of the summer on Thursday, during which I am going to try my hardest to not kill my legs. Other than that, I'm planning on a couple of very low mileage weeks, followed by a month of base building, and then an 18-week, 50 miler training plan picking back up on July 15.
Though my mileage will be low in the coming weeks, my glass will be full as I embark on trips to Cape May, New York, Baltimore, and Turks and Caicos. I hope you'll follow along as I continue to blog about my adventures on and off the trails!

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