Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Year of Stupid

I haven't posted my upcoming race schedule in a while -- in fact, I don't think I ever gave a peek at my 2013 plans -- so after adding a couple races to the calendar today, I figure it's time for an update.

Last year was quite the big-ticket year for me: Boston, Big Sur, three shots at 100 miles (I even finished one!). This year is becoming the Year of Stupid. It's seemingly not enough for me to go run races anymore. Now it's about doing bits and finding new and different ways to test myself.

The first such bit is coming up next month. I'll be running the Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke, Va., a race that bills itself as America's toughest road marathon thanks to the 7,234 feet of elevation change. While looking at the race website, I found a page for the Official Unofficial Double Marathon. At 2 a.m., a group of runners gathers at the starting line and runs the course, finishing a little before 7. At 7:30, they line up with everyone else and do it again, this time officially. Sounds like a plan!

I'll follow that with a Memorial Day weekend tripleheader, running the Texas Threesome at Bachman Lake in Dallas. It's a somewhat flimsy way to boost my Marathon Maniacs rank, as each "race" is just a couple dozen folks doing 8-plus laps around the lake each day. But it should be good training for other things I have planned later on.

One of those things will be in July, when I will attempt the rare Daily Double, running two marathons in two states on the same day. I'll start in western North Carolina with the Grandfather Mountain Marathon, a difficult race in its own right that finishes nearly 1,000 feet higher in the Appalachians than it begins, with several steep up-and-downs along the way. After I finish, I'll board a shuttle bus back to the start, then hop in the car and drive 6 hours to Macon, Ga., hopefully arriving in plenty of time for the Make It By Midnight Marathon. This unique concept has runners crossing the start line whenever they choose, with the goal of finishing as close to midnight as possible. So if you expect to run a 4:18 marathon, you start your race at 7:42 p.m. It'll be hot and humid, I'll be exhausted, but it'll be a nice resume builder (and will check off another state on the list without having to make an extra trip).

All of this will culminate in November with the 72-hour race at Ultracentric (the race hasn't been announced yet; I'm assuming the scheduling and location will be the same as last year). My goal is to top 200 miles over 3 days, which will hopefully make most things I do in future years feel like walks in the park.

Also, I'm planning on running the Javelina Jundred in October to get my Western States lottery ticket for next year (and preserve the one I carried over from this year). I would have had this done at Rocky Raccoon, were it not for my super-sized Achilles tendon, so I will take a must-finish attitude into JJ and use up every minute of the 30 available hours if I have to. (I don't include this in the Year of Stupid because just doing a regular 100-mile race doesn't seem that stupid by comparison. It's just one race on one day, right?)

Obviously, staying healthy is going to be huge this year. I've been very cautious in coming back from injury over the last month and will continue to be keenly aware of anything my body is trying to tell me. And I'm getting back on track with my neglected preventative strengthening efforts. It helps my cause that I got my Boston qualifier out of the way already so I can focus just on finishing and staying in one piece. I won't be shuffling along to 6-hour marathons, but I won't be out there trying to break 3 either.

Here's the full listing of what's on tap, with asterisks to indicate completed registrations. I have room for 3 more events to get to my usual 20 for the year, but they will surely be shorter, local races.

*3/16/13 Dash Down Greenville (5K), Dallas TX
*4/6/13 Fairview Half Marathon, Fairview TX
*4/20/13 Double Blue Ridge Marathon, Roanoke VA
5/4/13 Carrollton Trails 5K, Carrollton TX
*5/25/13 MS Marathon (Texas Threesome Day 1), Dallas TX
*5/26/13 Jim's Goose Chase Marathon (Texas Threesome Day 2), Dallas TX
*5/27/13 Bachman Memorial Day Marathon (Texas Threesome Day 3), Dallas TX
6/15/13 Dadfest 5K, Frisco TX
*7/13/13 Grandfather Mountain Marathon, Boone NC
*7/13/13 Make It By Midnight Marathon, Macon GA
7/27/13 Cedar Ridge Trail Run (36K), Dallas TX
9/28/13 TBA 50K at Cross Timbers, Lake Texoma TX
10/26/13 Javelina Jundred, Fountain Hills AZ
11/?/13 Ultracentric 72-Hour, Grapevine TX
12/8/13 Dallas Marathon, Dallas TX

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