Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Official: The 2010 North Country Trail Run 50-Mile Ultramarathon

I'm thrilled to announce that today I officially registered for the 2010 North Country Trail Run!  This race is a 50-mile ultramarathon held each year in Michigan.  This year's running will be held on August 28th.

I've been considering an ultra for several years.  However, my half and full marathon races have been run too sporadically over the years to count on a good enough base.  Last year, I committed to making a more consistent running lifestyle and have planned some multi-year goals for motivation.  The Cincy Flying Pig Marathon and the NCT Run are key events this year to help me focus on keeping in motion.

I'm really thrilled to make it offical with today's registration.  It's a big step for me: one that I've looked forward to for a long time and now feel is the right time to make.  I know it will be an incredible experience!

I decided to run reasonably close to home.  I considered some races out-of-state that follow some spectacular scenery, but I decided to instead focus on a more local venue that by it's own right has some fantastic terrain.  It's also a lot easier to travel across state with my family than it is to fly across the country!

The course is a 25-mile loop run twice, all within the Manistee National Forest and along the North Country Trail.  The NCT is a National Scenic Trail that runs across seven states from New York all the way across the northern part of the country to North Dakota.  The trail is administered by the National Park Service, however, much of it is still under construction and its completion and maintenance are very much dependent upon volunteers.  The North Country Trail Association is dedicated to this cause and recruits enthusiastic patrons and workers to help this trail remain a treasure.

The training for now is focused on the "Pig" in Cincinnati.  This should be a good "warm-up" for a healthy summer of training for the NCTR.  I know I will continue to lose weight, build endurance, and pick up a little speed along the way.

I'm prepared for some interesting training runs, including some challenging fatigue-induced back-to-back long runs.  What is also going to be unique versus the marathon training is the amount of trail running I'm going to accomplish.  Since I love the outdoors and trail running so much, this is an aspect of the training I'm really thrilled to explore.

I'll post some more thoughts and describe the training runs in future posts.  For now, I wanted to share the news.

Whether you've ever thought of running an ultra or you're an old pro, consider running this race.  It promises to be a challenging, yet satisfying experience.  Let me know if your plans include an ultra or if you've committed to this race or another like it.  It'll be great to train together!

All the best & Happy Trails!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well folks, welcome to the new year!  I hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends and family.

With new beginnings, it's appropriate to consider new goals and paths to venture.  I enjoyed getting back into running in 2009 after an on-and-off 2008.  Last year I overcame a knee injury, lost 25 pounds, and I ran 2 half marathons and a full marathon.  I loved the training and joy of hitting the roads and trails.  I'm grateful to have run in some beautiful places throughout the country and I'm especially thankful to have shared the experience with so many wonderful people.  I can only imagine what will be in 2010, but I can't wait to continue the journey!

For 2010, I have thought quite a bit about my running goals and have charted a plan.  Now this plan is actually an important part of something quite a bit bigger that I'm setting for 2011-2012, but I'll save that discussion for later!

There are three major races that form the basis of my 2010 running season: 2 marathons (one Spring, one Fall) and my first ultra (Summer).  I also intend to pick up some speed and lose some more weight, but these aspects are more consequences.  I also intend to finally launch my podcast (some of you are tired of hearing this, but family and work schedules have been a little much these last few months so please continue to bear with me).

My race schedule for 2010 is listed below.  This plan is subject to change due to work and family, but this is what I'm shooting for so far.  Stay tuned for more updates as they become evident!

March 7, Mill Creek Classic Half Marathon, Wick Recreation Area, OH
May 2, Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH
June 6, Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon, Ann Arbor, MI
June 13, 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon, Chicago, IL
August 28, North Country Trail Run 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Manistee NF, MI
September 18, US Air Force Half Marathon, Dayton, OH
October 10, Towpath Half Marathon, Cuyahoga Valley NP, OH
October 31, Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, DC

I'm still debating several other ultras (I'll do only one ultra this year though).
July 10, Dances with Dirt 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Baraboo, WI
July 17, Headlands 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Marin Headlands NRA, CA
July 18, Tahoe Rim Trail 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Lake Tahoe, NV

I have begun training this past week for the "Pig."  If any of you plan on running this great race in Cincy, please sign up and join my Buckeye Outdoors Challenge.  We can help support each other through the Winter as we prepare for this Spring race.

I hope you can join me at any of the races listed above.  Please let me know so we can hook up.  Also, if you are running in Michigan at any time, please let me know so we can go for a run.

Let me know your 2010 plans as well.  I would love to hear your ambitions.

It should be a great year.  Let's go out and make it the very best!

I wish you and your families a happy 2010.  Let's run a course to remember!

All the best,