Monday, December 10, 2012

50/50 Split

This past weekend I heard that TARC was holding their Fells Trail Ultra (5 laps of the 8 mile Skyline Trail) and it's just a few miles from home so I figured I'd stop by.  Kristina was running and Ryan was going to be pacing her for some of the laps so I could visit, hang out and take a few photos.  I got there a few minutes after the start unfortunately so I wasn't going to see the runners for another hour.  Ryan and I chatted for a bit and I took a walk around some trails a bit, going gingerly on my sore ankle.  The falling snow made for some nice photography, as well as cold, wet running.  Eventually the runners started showing up and I started taking pictures, one of my favorite things.

All the runners looked like they were having fun despite the steady snow and cold temps. I waited for Kristina to arrive, smiling like always, and near the front of the pack.  I felt the need to stay and photograph the entire field, because that's what photographers do.  I really like trail running and I really like pushing myself, and observing the race made me more committed to my goal of running a 50K before my 50th birthday next year.  Right now I'm planning on the Pinelands Farm 50K up in Maine on Memorial Day weekend.  That should give me enough time after the end of ski season to get in some long runs and not miss too much skiing.  I'm thinking that the TARC Spring Classic would be the right tune up race as well, and I'd love to run a TARC event.

I'm not sure why I've latched onto the idea of a 50K for my 50th, but it's pretty firmly set in my brain.  It's not much more than a marathon distance, but there's something about being able to call myself an ultramarathoner that has great appeal.  It's the internal challenge, since at my pace I clearly don't care about time. The discipline, the self-control, the drive to work through pain and setbacks; those all have a strong pull as I approach a milestone birthday.  Yes, it's just a number but if  nothing else it give you pause to reflect and make plans.

So that's my plan; 50 by 50.  I'll be the first to admit it's not the best plan but it's mine and I'm sticking to it.  Unless the ski season is fantastic and I have no time to train, then I'll pick another 50K.

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