I keep getting this relentless itch. It happens every time I, for whatever reason, go out for a run or see one of my Facebook friends on some sort of trail running/ultramarathon adventure (especially local Billy Simpson– his post about Arkansas this morning is literally the thing that pushed me over the edge on this).
If you’ve been around since I started my blog, you might remember that my cycling addiction began when I was an avid trail runner (thanks to the Warthogs running group. If it weren’t for them, I probably would have never thrown a leg over a bike as an adult). I’ve run a handful of 50ks, trail marathons, and various other long-distance off road races. Running- especially trail running- is something I turn to when I need an off-season break but still want to stay very active. I thoroughly enjoyed all 5 runs I did in preparation for the USARA event (er, I probably should have done more than 5).
This fall, I’ve been unable to convince myself that I want to keep up with any sort of formal training that has to do with cyclocross. I’m missing most of the pretty small Memphis schedule of races (one race is the same day as the 12hr night nationals, and the other two are the same weekend as the Enduro clinic), and, with all of the late-season traveling I’ve done and still have ahead of me, I don’t feel like driving a metric crap-ton to race in Arkansas and Nashville. So, I’ve tentatively decided to do this: LoVit Trail Marathon at the beginning of December as a warm-up to this: Athens-Big Fork Trail Marathon in early January (I ran that one a long time ago, and it was, by far, the most challenging thing I’ve ever done on foot). Then, it will be back to my regularly scheduled regimen of bike training to get ready for the upcoming 2015 mountain bike season.
Not only do I feel the trail calling me, but my fear, anxiety, and growing dislike of riding on the road has really started to eat away at my soul. While I still plan on doing plenty of cycling during the time from the end of October (after Night Nationals) until the first week of January, focusing more on trail running through then will help me put off doing some the winter road miles I’m facing. And, yes… I’m serious when I say I’m going to wait to start marathon training until nearly the beginning of November for a marathon that’s on December 6th. Trust me… I’ve done this before. I have the base fitness- it’s just a matter of conditioning my body to take the impact of running in order to put that fitness to good use.