Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hills for Breakfast, Lunch and Next Year DINNER…

Who Needs New Year's Eve for a Goal?
I am going after my first 50 mile Ultra! That's right, the "U" word has been said out loud and I already pre-registered for 2013. I have one year to fill my head and prepare my body for not just any Ultra, but a monster of a hilly forest—eating hills and then some more please—at the North Country Run (NCR) in the Manistee National Forest. Thankfully, my running buddy Evie is going for it too and NCR has a mentor program I am going to take advantage of.

Crista's reenactment of the
pain and her wounds.
I ran the half marathon just last weekend, and I really enjoyed the trails and even the continuous hills (seriously, they never end!). There was enough to look at to keep me occupied while I constantly had to watch my footing. I started to look forward to the next hill just to recover on the fast walk up. This was such a challenging course that it tool me 43 minutes longer than my PR on a flat road race and the 85-90 degrees didn't help. I found myself dehydrated and had poorly decided to only carry half my water pack. The trails are thin and provide ample tripping obstacles of stones, roots, sand and plant life. Many people fell and our girl Crista had the battle wounds to show for it. Props to Crista for getting up and pushing on.

And yes, this is what I think is fun. This is how I will celebrate turning 40. I was even more happy to see that although this run took the wind out of my sail—and I sweated enough to look like a greased up pig while some people looked like they had just showed in their own sweat—I place 9th out of 33 in my age bracket of 35-39 aged women and 1st for women of age 39. So next year it will be ON to see if I can finish this within the 14 hour cut off. It is going to be quite the year. I am collecting the wisdom of past runners of this course to help me succeed...that's what I do.

Next up…Plantar Fasciitis, please let it not be so.

Above Photo: Me with my NCR Medal. The NCR has the largest Half and Ultra awarded medal and the 3rd largest Marathon awarded medal in the nation. All three are the same USA handmade medal with the ribbons differentiating them.