I'm excited about some excellent runs on the schedule for this summer. I enjoyed running through the cold winter months, but there is just something about warm weather & trail running. The winter forced me to venture out on some long solo runs while warm weather has welcomed in more ultra races and fun training runs.
At this point in my ultra running hobby, I'm not a "racer". In other words, I don't go into an event with the mindset that I'm going to push myself as fast & as hard as I can go. I'm forced to do that at work and in my day to day life and it's just not fun for me to do it during a race. With that being said, I still enjoy pushing myself on sections of trail and I have mad respect for the speedsters in the front of the pack.
I simply enjoy running ultras and I've found that if I don't push myself too hard then I can easily run at least one per month. Another perk for this is that I don't have to do as many solo training runs to keep my base of fitness. There is always another ultra race right around the corner. The people and new courses keep me encouraged and interested.
1st Summer Race - Chattooga 50K
I just said that I don't really race, but I want to post a solid time at Chattooga. I need it, because it slapped me around like a little baby last summer. I went off course, freaked out, and fell apart several times near the end. The sheer beauty of the course kept me from totally folding. This year is gonna be different. I'm pacing myself, drinking plenty of H20, and having fun. Oh and I want to destroy that 9:45 time that I posted last year.
2nd Run - Chattooga "In the Dark" Foothills Train
In preparation for my attempt at finishing the Foothills Trail in a point to point run I'm running 17 miles on the Chattooga section at 9:00 PM after working all day. I've been on this part of the trail at night and it is magically creepy. The sounds of the water seem to bounce all over the gorge creating strange sounds through the night. If the moon is out it makes the whitewater sections look like marshmallows rapidly gushing down the river.
3rd Run - 1/2 of the SCAR "Smokies Challenge Adventure Run"
This run rocks! It will begin in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Newfound Gap and head West on the A.T. ending at Fontana dam. This is a 40 mile self-supported run that takes you over some of the most beautiful single track in the south.
4th Run - 77 Mile Foothills Trail
I will be attempting to run the entire trail with a few other runners near the end of July. To my knowledge, only one other runner has ever completed the trail on his first attempt. This is a huge one for me and all of my runs are building in preparation for this one.
5th Run - Laurel Valley Whitewater Race
This race will be about three weeks after the Foothills run so I'm not sure how my head will be going into it. Either way, this is a very special trail that always leaves me wanting more. This will be my first year running instead of sweeping and I'm looking forward to that. If I'm burned out from the Foothills Trail run then I may offer to sweep again. I think several of my friends are doing that this year and it would be fun to run as a group. Gonna play that by ear and see how I feel.
Lookin' forward to a great summer of runnin'!