Friday, December 18, 2015

Next Challenge: 100K

After running the Boston Marathon in under 4 hours in crazy April weather, it was time to leave paved-road training behind and return to the beautiful trails of northern California.

I'd often been asked by friends what's my next challenge. Had I picked one? After the marathon and running the Annual Dipsea Race (June), and part of a 12-man team that won the first 60+ category in a major relay race (Hood-to-Coast, August), I was still coasting, uncommitted.

I'd decided to run in the 2015 USATF Cross Country Championships in Golden Gate Park for Tamalpa Runners Club to get a 'marker' as a tentative step in setting a goal.

Last Saturday (12/12) was an incredible scene, watching up close hundreds of fabulous cross country competitors from all over the US, colorfully clad in team outfits, vying for national championships by age groups and gender. What gliding, efficient, even ballet-like running forms on display -- at amazing running paces. With 5 different run group starts, a treat to also be a spectator.

9:45 am was our men's over 60 start. A joy to be running smoothly, feeling good the whole way on the rolling park and grass XC 8K course.

39 minutes 27 seconds or a 7:56 mile pace. I had my marker.

Over the years, I've run with friends on many of the trails that make up much of a well known race in the hills north of the Golden Gate Bridge called the Miwok 100K  -- with its iconic coastal views, some of the most stunning in the US. Famous for its ridge lines with spectacular coastal views and scenic single track trails, with 11,800 ft of elevation gain and 62 miles, it's also one of the most challenging ultra courses.

Given the difficulty to get into the Miwok 100 (entry form asks to list volunteering at Miwok 100K, # ultras one has run,  and they use a lottery to choose applicants), I assumed chances I'd get in were slim. Therefore a safe gesture to apply.  :)

Then the 2016 Miwok 100K entrant list was posted.

Posted on the same day as the USATF XC race. Coincidence? Why in the world would I commit to running 62 miles?  And given my longest run was 50K (during my 10-event "Comeback 65")?

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

                                                                                                                                   Robert Browning

Just 20 weeks for moving from wishful thinking to readiness. Yikes!

Will I make it to the start line (given the training needed, constant risk of injuries)? And if so, the finish line?

Hopefully this Doubling Up journey may also motivate others to get from just thinking to finally doing something for their own fitness -- and health.

More to follow. 

No comments:

Post a Comment