ORN: 5.2 miles, R5/W1
A couple of years ago, I was sitting at the table, calendars and race brochures spread before me, when my wife grinned. It was the look that told me a bit of sage wisdom was about to follow. "You know, I think you enjoy PLANNING running as much as you enjoy running itself."
She had it pretty much right, as usual.
I am usually working about 12 months or so ahead on race plans, as all of that gives shape to daily runs. So here is what the rest of 2009 is looking like for me.
My good pal Darrell and I have worked out our now-annual fall race. We'll be running the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Missouri on Labor Day, September 7. He wants to notch the Show Me state in his marathoning belt. It worked well, schedule wise, for us both. So I'll drive, pick him up at the St Louis Airport and we'll head to the middle of Missouri.
The race itself is kind of interesting. Not a household name in marathoning, this year will nevertheless be the 50th annual running of the event. It will be small, looks like a couple hundered runners max. And early September can still be hot and humid along the banks of the Missouri River. Plus, a confirming email from the organizers I got last week noted:
HOA is one of the oldest and toughest courses in America. It began on Labor Day in 1960 with five runners, two of whom completed the course. Running guru Hal Higdon calls it a "down-home country course," and he lists Easley Hill as one of the 10 toughest climbs in the nation.
Whoa. Here is Hal Hidgon's description of running the 2001 Heart of America Marathon at age 70. Darrell, bring plenty of water bottles for your Fuel Belt.
The month of October has several possibilities, still to be determined.
A target race will happen on November 7 at the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis. It falls at a perfect time, is an hour from my house, has a race-day packet pick up, so will be simple, logistically. I'm also seriously considering if I can target this as a race to try to get under 4:30. I'm getting familiar with the marathon now. But can I also run one hard? A flat course in cool weather may be the right way to test the theory. Stay tuned.
I'll then finish out the year with a differnet sort of target, running the Huntington Ultra-Frigid Fifty, a 50 km ultra in Huntington, Indiana. The HUFF is the first trail race I ever did, as I ran their one lap (12 mile) option in 2004. I really want to do a legitimate 50K now. December 19 will be the day. Mud? Ice? Snow? Could be any of them.
I actually have a couple races penciled in for 2010 but that's another story. And my wife is grinning as I plan all this out and that's a good thing.