Saturday, November 7, 2009

Should I do this? Am I Crazy?

After you read what I am about to write you will understand the title of this post.

Ok, over that last year I have been doing a lot of running. When I first started all this running I wasn't even sure if I actually even liked it. Let me rephrase - I was positive I didn't like running! Well, in the last 2 months something has changed and I am actually enjoying the heck out of running - there, I said it!

Not really sure when or how it happened but I look forward to waking up in the wee hours of the morning and pounding out some good miles. My body feels great afterwards and my fitness level is at a place I never thought even remotely possible.

So that brings me to the "Should I do this? Am I Crazy?" portion of the post:

Surfing around the web looking to find a running race to do in the winter months I came across this little ditty: Texas Trail Runs . This is a trail run in a State park (see map) about an hour from my house. If you clicked on the link you will see that on December 5th they are sponsoring a race with two distances - 12.5 Miles or 50K - I am kicking around the idea of doing the 50K!

How many miles is 50K? Well, I am glad you asked because I did a little conversion and the total miles would be 31 miles. Thirty-one miles over wood trails, horse paths, and campsites.

Now why the hell would I want to do something like this? Really, I cannot explain what the heck is going through my mind. I like to push my own limits and a race like this would do more than push. Every other event I have coming up or have completed I never once had a doubt that I may not finish. Well, with this one a big DNF (Did Not Finish) is a very real possibility. The longest run I have completed to date is 16 miles. By the time this race occurs I will be up to 20 miles in a single run and actually hitting the taper period of the Hal Higdon marathon training that I have been following. So the timing of the 50k could not be better to coincide with my training. Then once I finish this up I can jump right into my Tri training with some major ego-altering confidence!

Also I have been doing some reading about these ultra-marathon trail races and from the sound of it these are not as physically abusive to your body as running on concrete can be. Now, 50k is 50k and I am not under any delusions that it will be anything other than completely exhausting BUT my joints will respond better to grass and dirt than concrete - at least that is what I am telling myself!

Now here is my issue. I want to do this, but I do not want to go alone to the race. After 31 miles my body probably will not be in any condition to make the hour drive home. Annie works retail and it may be hard for her to get off on a Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas. Most of my friends are lazy beer drinkers (like I used to be) and will in no way get up at 4am on a Saturday and hang around a state park for most of the day as I attempt to run myself to death in the woods - they all think I have lost it anyways since I began Triathlon. Annie is going to see if she can get the day off and then she can do the 12.5 miler. Or as a last resort I might get a hotel room close and just crash out until I can go home!

So, fellow crazy workout buddies, let me hear from you - should I do this?

Thanks for Reading,



  1. Ok, your title asks 2 questions.... Should I do this? Am I crazy?

    The answers to both those questions are YES!!!

    Sounds exciting! We have a race here in Hawaii called the HURT 100 which is a trail race over a 100 miles. The short version is 50 miles. The guys that I know who do this race have pacers that run with them. They get fresh pacers after some pre-defined distance. They are responsible to get their own pacers. They also have nutrition brought to them along the course.

    I knew that your running ability would take you far. This will definitely be a challenge. Makes me feel bad that I am having a difficult time with my marathon training. I am completely honest when I say that I believe you will do an Iron Man someday.

    Once you do your 16 miles, you will probably get some idea about this event being within your reach, even if only remotely.

  2. Jeff, you should do this! Nothing like a new challenge. Plus I'm already looking forward to seeing your report after you finish the race! Go for it!

  3. Boomer - thanks buddy! I actually feel bad for being excited about this because of your knee.

    And I just signed up for the race. It is going to be brutal and probably painful but should be one heck of a story. The good news is I can just keep up the current training I am doing now and I should be fine!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Chuck, I am doing it so if I manage to make it out in one piece I will craft up a detailed race report just for you buddy!

  5. You might find that trail running is exhilirating for both your body and brain. I've done some trail running in my life, and knocking out 5 miles of that isn't as monotonous as 5 miles of road running. Your mind HAS to stay engaged because of roots, rocks, rattlers, rivers...and whatever else is found in the woods.

    You might look into getting some cross-country/trail running shoes with more lateral support.

    But wow...great decision! That looks like tons of fun! I'd be stoked!

  6. Thanks Steve ...I am stoked! My only real concern in the trail running is the "rattlers" you mentioned!! I hate snakes!

    Supposedly this place has a bunch of exposed roots all over the place. I read a review that says you almost need to plan your steps 3 steps ahead of time.

    But in all seriousness this is going to be fun. I was online looking at trail shoes last night and am going to try some on in the next few days. Also thinking about getting some heavy duty socks.