Where on earth did January go? It seems like yesterday that we were all running the Winter BT50K in deep snow. I'm definitely not complaining, though...I am absolutely done with winter in northeast Ohio. I say "Bring on the spring, green leaves, sunset after 8pm, and no coats." Unfortunately, it's snowed before on my birthday (mid-April) so I'll take the gorgeous days as they present themselves. This last week (since my Mr. Moon post early in the week) was a complete blur. I came back to work after being gone from my desk for 17 days to a mountain of work so I spent all week attempting to dig myself out from under it while tackling the continuing work-load that presented itself each day. Much of that "stuff" still sits where it was when I showed up on Monday. The good news, though? This next week is a 3-day week. Government holiday on Monday and Friday I have off. (I work 9 hour days so I can have every other Friday off.) Now THAT I can handle! This last week's early morning running also took some shifts as I skipped one day to instead sit behind the computer from 3:30am to 5:30am working on stuff (ie: other responsibilities) that couldn't get done any other time. Plus, the wind was gusting to 50 mph that morning so my heart wasn't broken. I still ended up the week at 45 miles with only 4 days of running so I'm quite happy with that.
Well, after a super fast tax return (filed last weekend and in the bank this past Thursday), I put my money where my mouth is and registered for the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Endurance Run on June 6/7 in Kettle Moraine National Forest in southern Wisconsin...northwest of Chicago. Time is moving fast and it's almost time to click in gear and start the buildup in race-specific training for this 100-miler. Starting on March 7th at NEO Trail's Covered Bridge FA 50K in Mill Creek Park, I will begin the slow and gradual buildup to Kettle Moraine. Things like running trails in the dark and back-to-back long runs are a few examples. The only event in between Covered Bridge and KM is Lloyd's Fools 50K on April 5th. By the way, if you snoozed and didn't register, you're only option is probably the wait list now. As of yesterday, 197 of 200 spots were spoken for. Not too shabby for the inaugural running of this 50K. Way to go, Lloyd! My plan for that event is to help Lloyd mark the course, run the 50K, and help clean up the course...perfect training for KM. That will be 2 months out from KM. In late April and again once or twice in May, I'll do some middle-of-the-night runs on the trails while sleep deprived to mimic that 2nd half of the 100 miler.
Today, I wanted to run for no other reason...but to run. I had no really training need for 20 miles but I would like to maintain that 20-25 mile long run base just to keep myself growing in endurance and an increasing feeling of that feeling "easy." I just think that will help me in the 100. I may be wrong but it seems to make sense to me. I started at 6am today in the dark on the Towpath Trail and surprisingly, 3 others showed up as well...a pleasant surprise! We knocked out 6.3 before the VR Group Run at 7am which was a 16.5 mile run including mostly Towpath and the Carriage Trail. Once back, I did a little out-n-back to get myself up to 23 miles for the day. I was pretty tired and sore at the end but I never really slowed down much at all. I just kept it slow and steady all day. I also want to give a shout-out to my brother, Bill, who ran 17 today and marked his longest run ever. He's dropped nearly 50 pounds over the last few years and recently signed up for his first marathon, Flying Pig, on May 3rd in Cincinnati. (I may have had just a bit of influence on him in picking that one!) It's really cool to see someone (even better when it's my brother) set a goal, follow the steps to a new and better lifestyle, and achieve that goal.
To "celebrate" a 3-day work-week, I'm going to dive into the mud on Monday morning from 7am-9am at Pine Lane and see what the Buckeye Trail has to offer after all the snow has melted and then again on Friday at Happy Days for another 2 hours on the trails...mostly covering the Fools 50K course. Friday will also be my brother's indoctrination on the trails...time to get those new Merrell trail shoes muddy! Anyone is welcome to join me but please let me know if you're coming so I can wait for you if you're running late.
Speaking of new trail shoes, I found redemption at Keen. I've been bummed out for awhile because they totally discontinued my Keen Wasatch Crest trail shoes. Well, a new one has been released and is called the Powerline. They should have just kept the Wasatch Crest name because essentially, everything below the upper is identical and they redesigned the upper and also kept the unique lacing pattern. Since both of my old Keens are nearly at their end-of-life (one has around 450 miles and has screws in them and the other is very close to 400 miles), this news couldn't have come at a better time.
Happy Valentine's Day to you all and as always, Happy Trails!