I took five full days off this week, running a pretty easy five miles today. It was nice to be out running without any serious training plan in mind. Just a free and easy trot on some single track with free and easy thoughts about some short fall races and the '09 ultra season.
The only race I really have left on the '08 calendar is the Zeitgeist Half Marathon in Boise, November 1. For a road half, it's fairly challenging, with about 1,100 feet of climbing, and there are always some speedy roadsters toeing the line. The distance and the climbing shouldn't be a problem, but my speed is in the tank after injuries and ultras, so I have some tempo runs and a few trips to the track ahead of me this fall.
After Zeitgeist, it'll be back to skiing and the dark, cold, icy runs that make training in the high mountains that much more interesting. It's strange, but some of my best runs surface on the early morning icy roads. Just like those big summer runs on technical single track, there's something about a snowy -10 degree run that really strips you down to pure effort and desire.
And I've been thinking a lot about these winter runs as I've been starting to plan (some would say obsess over) the '09 season. Crazily, I may bust out '09 with the Coyote 2 Moons 100k (19,000 ft of climbing) in Ojai, Ca in mid-March, should I be able to get in. Most likely, we'll still have two feet of snow on the ground here, so running all the miles and vertical to make it worthwhile would be a huge challenge. But, it's practically in my home town, and we'd planned a family trip down there around that time, so the cards seem about as aligned as they could be. Plus it just seems like a great event, and the Patagonia finisher's jacket alone is worth the price of admission (for more, see post on Coyote Two Moons 2009 Applications).
Beyond Coyote, I'm not so sure. But, I have to admit to looking at a heck of a lot of 100 mile sites, and may decide to try my inexperienced hand. Bighorn, Tahoe Rim Trail, Leadville, Cascade Crest, Angeles Crest, Wasatch - they're all more than intriguing. It could be pure folly, I know. And I may be using the whole idea of doing a 100 as a foil against my recent disappointing drop at Teton. But, in the past, I've used my frailties as a springboard to bigger accomplishment, and maybe my Teton experience is just what I need to give me the courage (or unwarranted chutzpa) to actually pick a 100 and toe the line. Cheers.
See my other C2M postings.