Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The things we can say "Yes!" to....

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park comes ...Image via Wikipedia
By: Brent

So I was talking with my good friend and co-worker Trevor, and he says to me, "Hey, wanna try a 50 miler!?!" My swift response, "NO!!!!" yet the more he talks about it, the more interesting it becomes. It is a trail race at Winona Lake on the mountain bike trails. The biggest kicker is that you can enter into relays so Trevor and I have entered in with 3 others so all we have to run is 10 miles apiece. Mind you, I have only run one time since my 5k on the snowy golf course, but still, It's not like is could snow in April in Indiana..... I think. So we get our 5 guys that all say YES to this hair brained idea. Then Trevor says to me, "You run at night a lot, how well does your headlight work?" I respond curiously, assuming that he is planning on starting to run after hours and he says "Oh no. the race doesn't start until 2:30 p.m., so by the time the fifth guy starts, it could be 10 o'clock at night and the runner are responsible for their lighting." AWESOME!!!!! For some reason, NOW I am more than interested. I requested the last leg of the race, with no argument from the team.

So today Trevor officially signed us up. Last year there was 66 "groupings". There is multiple ways to enter this trail race. 50 mile solo, 3, 4 or 5 man groups or they offer a 30 and 10 mile option also. As of our sign up there are 77 entered, with our team being the only 50 mile 5 man. I have no idea what to expect. My understanding is that you run on the mountain bike trail that follows a days worth of mountain bike races. If that is the case, there should be pretty good clearings and watching the roots in the ground should be the only major issues. My understanding is that Winona Lake does a very good job hosting races that are run and ridden so I have a lot of faith this will be another great new experience.

As of today I have 19 days to get a bit of running endurance built back up. I know you can't turn into a real trail runner in 19 days, but I figure if this is at midnight, I shall start working on my list of excuses as to why it took me so long to finish my leg of the race.

1) I got chased off the trail by Big Foot

2) I made a wrong turn and ended up in Illinois, then turned back and ran back

3) My headlight batteries went out a mile in and I ran the rest in the darkness

4) I was in the line at the port-o-potty at mile XX (find port-o-potty)

5) Mexican sample platter dinner was a bad idea

6) I found a portal that led to a mystical land

7) In all the excitement, I must have gone around twice

8) I may have dozed off

9) I waited at the wrong checkpoint for so long

10) I thought this was a preview of the course so I walked and took notes. I am ready now though.

This year has been interesting for me and fitness. I am so focused on riding right now I can't seem to get all worked up about running. Yet, I have done a trail/snow 5k run, this 50 mile trail relay, I am signed up (yet NOT training) for a road half marathon, and I want to do the 10k Steve's Run that is half trail and half road. I have a handful of biking events I want to do also and I would like to find a couple sprint triathlons this summer so very different from the last 2 years that I have run 14 road races and one of them being trail.

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