The other day I had some stirrings for adventure. Then I did some searching on the internet. Then I found an idea. This idea takes the shape of another 50 mile ultra called Run Through the Jungle, and it is the 31st Anniversary of the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic 50k/50 mile run. This 50 mile is not on trails like the Northface Endurance Challenge last year, it is on a paved path through the "jungle" of Wakulla Springs State Park. This will hopefully mean no face plants into rocks, trees, trails and such. The knee knob rejoices.
After the wild adventure that was my first 50 mile ultra I did find myself wondering if I could have done it better if given the right conditions. The majority of my running is done on the streets of my town, not on trails. Sure, Monte Sano is just a short drive away and provides plenty of trail types on which to run but...that always took extra planning and so I took to the roads about 90% of the time during my training.
I also learned that trails frustrate me. I have to slow down. I have to pay attention. I can't simply find a rhythm and lose myself in it. And I'm not willing to go to the extra trouble of getting myself to a trail when the road lies right outside my front door. After my first 40 mile ultra on Monte Sano I believed myself to have gotten the hang of it. I loved the beauty of the mountains, and since that race consisted of the same figure 8 of trail, I got used to it and had a wonderful time.
The Northface Endurance Challenge trails in Georgia however, were not nearly as friendly as those of Monte Sano, and I couldn't help but wonder at the completion of that ultra if I could do better at that distance if it were on my terms. My terms being the good ole familiar pavement.
All of that being said, I am ready to begin training for my new idea. I still have the Rocket Man Triathlon to gut through this Sunday. My performance there will be laughable, but I'll probably be okay with that since I have not invested any time and emotion in readying myself for it. As Jason reminds me when I bring it up, it is just for fun. That is the goal.
After that I'll be free and clear to begin my ultra training, and I've already begun the gradual increase in mileage so that these legs will be ready for the higher mileage weeks that usually accompany ultra training. And I'm excited! I love having a new adventure for which to day dream and train! Providing my knee does not argue and other more pleasant interferences don't show up (like babies), this will remain my plan. Sure I make plans, but I also prepare myself to be flexible as God's may be different than mine.
For now, however, let the training begin!