It’s now day 3 of my sickness-enforced rest. I am starting to feel much better and will probably head out tomorrow morning for a light jog to get my body moving again before the Tre-X off-road duathlon on Sunday.
Today I have used my rest day to evaluate my 2012-13 season goals. Over the past few weeks since the Oxfam Trailwalker Brisbane I have been thinking about how much I would like to complete a 100km trail run and work up to a 100 miler. My 100km bicycle ride on Saturday and meeting with the team I am support crewing for at the Kokoda Challenge 96km walk only increased my thirst for endurance events.
I started searching the internet to find trail runs in Australia and found there are a huge selection of exciting events to chose from. We have everything from the 3 Marathons in 3 Days event in tropical Cairns to a wide selection of alpine and beach ultras, including the famous 6 Foot Track and North Face 100. I felt rather like a kid in a candy store as I trawled through pages and pages of trail running options, most of which were ultras.
I subscribe to the online Trail Runner Magazine and every time I get a new issue I start to long for the trail. I am drawn by the freedom of single track mountain trails and long miles of beach stretching out in front of me.
I am not a fast runner. In fact, I am not even passionate about the act of running. I have not run a road marathon and the thought of doing so doesn’t entice me. But I like to explore. I like the simplicity of exploring on foot. I like the friendly social atmosphere of trail running. And I love how it feels when I find my running zone. My favourite thing about trail running ultras is that the sport is still young enough in Australia that it’s acceptable to ‘run-a-bit, walk-a-bit’ in many of the more low key events.
So today I made a commitment. I am going to work towards my 100km and 100 mile goals. And I am not going to wait until next season. Today I paid and entered the following events and set the following flexible goals:
- 12 August 2012 – Lake Manchester Trail Run (22km) – goal time < 2:45
- 14 October 2012 – Washpool World Heritage Trail Run (50km) – goal time < 8:00 – entered
- 9 December 2012 – Kurrawah to Duranbah Road Run (50km) – goal time < 6:00 – entered
- 21 April 2013 – Water World Red Rocks to Coffs (45km trail run) – goal time < 7:00 – entered
I based my goals on my results in the two half road half marathons (2:10 barefoot & 1:46 shod) I completed in January and March 2012, and my 7:32 for the 45km Rainbow Beach Trail Run in November 2011.
I have also scheduled other races for the coming season for which entries have not yet opened. I think the goals are realistic without forcing me to start training ridiculously hard. It just means that my weekend sessions will be more focused on endurance, whether running or cycling.
Here’s to backing myself. The 2012-13 season is going to be the year I become an ultra runner. And the year I qualify to enter a 100km event next year (most 100km events require entrants to have completed at least one 50km event in the previous 12 months but often don’t have time limits for those events).