Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Going for it!

Ok, this blog is about to change in scope and intensity. I have finally decided to attempt the 100 mile trail race. That is not the most unusual scenario for me, as I have had that as a goal since I started running ultras. But after my first failed attempt at 50 miles (missed cutoff time at 37.5 miles), I was worried that I might not be capable of completing a 50 mile race, nevertheless, a distance twice that far.

However, I have set up a series of races that I will be running to help train myself for the 100 miler. I am running a series of 50k races, and another 50 mile race with no cutoff times, and will be using those races as confidence builders to train for the 100. Here is the racing schedule I have chosen to set myself up for the 100 mile race:

Prickly Pear 50k (March 6, 2009): completed @7 hours in the heat.
El Scorcho 50k (July 20th): Midnight run in the heat
Traverse Trails; Capt. Karl's Dark Side Series 60k (all run in the dark)
Louisiana Trails 50k (Shreveport, Louisiana) November 14th
Bandera 50k race, January 9th
Rocky Raccoon 50 mile race, Hunstville, Texas, February 6, 2010.
McNaughton 100 mile race; Pekin, Illinois, April 9, 2010

McNaughton Park 150/100 mile race

The McNaughton Park Trail Runs are firmly established as a premier ultra event ... the 2008 run had in excess of 200 entries from all over the United States and Europe.

"Easier than Barkley.Cooler than Badwater.Lower altitude than Leadville.Warmer than Yukon Artic Ultras."

Here is the description of the course from the website: "How about the view? One of our 2005 participants described it this way: “It’s one of the most scenic courses I know: Mostly singletrack, forest with some meadows, hills with beautiful valleys in between. Lots of flowers and wildlife. At dawn, when I came to the 3rd creek crossing, thousands of birds were singing, frogs were ‘talking’ everywhere, wild geese above me were chatting, and several Whitetail Deer crossing the trail.”

However, here is another quote from the website: "Do you think Illinois is all flat cornfields? Wise ultra-runners will get some serious hill training in before coming to McNaughton Park! We don’t have mountains in Illinois ... just a few rolling hills with elevator shaft downhills guaranteed to warm your quads on a chilly April evening. Here’s how one satisfied customer described the terrain: ‘I now know why Illinois is so flat. They took all the hills that are supposed to be there and put them ALL into one spot in Pekin, IL ... and called it ‘McNaughton Park’.”

I am not fooling myself into thinking that this course will be an easy one, but it will be scenic and challenging. However, from what I can tell, it shouldn't be any more difficult than Bandera out in the Texas Hill Country, so I am training for that environment...the hills and the rocks of Bandera should be good training for McNaughton.

On this blog, I will be continuously updating my training on a week by week basis on the way toward the McNaughton 100. I will report on the races I have scheduled, and my crazy emotional feelings as I go through this endeavor. Incidentally, my wife has given me the green light and has decided to even accompany me on this trip. Pretty cool.


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