With JFK and the end of the year quickly approaching, I now have to figure out what comes next in terms of training and racing. I’m really digging this ultra stuff, and I know that after finishing 50 miles the next logical step (in my mind at least) will be to do 100k then 100 miles. The question is, is 100 miles a realistic goal for the coming year? The way I see it, at the beginning of 2008 I was a pretty casual runner who had never logged anything longer than 5 miles, now I’m 30lbs lighter and looking to run a pretty strong 50-miler just 11 months later. If I continue training in the fashion I have been (and seek the guidance of a good ultra coach), I think 100 is totally doable sometime in the later half of next year.
So which 100 should I aim for? Vermont 100 is supposed be an easier 100, but I’ve also been looking at the Beast Series, a series of local ultras which features the new Grindstone 100, and if I’m going to be running the rest of those races why not just go for Grindstone and complete them all? I know I know, Grindstone is no joke as far as 100’s go and it’s got a killer elevation profile (caution: big .pdf file), but isn’t the lure of ultrarunning how difficult it is to overcome these challenges? Hmmm, guess I’ve got some thinking to do, along with plenty of consulting with those “in the know” with these races.
So here’s the lineup of upcoming races I’m currently considering:
- Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50k (mid-Dec.)
- Team Slug Fattest Ass 50k (Jan. 4)
- *Holiday Lake 50k++ (Feb. 14)
- Greenway Trail 50k (March 7)
- *Terrapin Mountain Marathon (end of March)
- Bull Run Run 50mi (mid-April)
- *Promise Land 50k (end of April)
- Vermont 100 (July 18-19) maybe??
- Massanutten Trail Ring 71mi (Sept.)
- *Grindstone 100mi (early Oct.) maybe??
- Potomac Heritage Trail 50k (mid-Oct.)
- *Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50mi (early Nov.)
- *Hellgate 100k (early Dec.)
* = race is part of the Beast Series
I think I need to find more 50 milers to add to this mix, the 50k’s seem to dominate, but then again my thought process was I’d be using these 50k’s as training runs so I wouldn’t be putting in an all-out race effort. Any other good (preferrably within reasonable driving distance) races I should consider, or ones from this list that I should stop considering? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Recommendations always appreciated.