….and My Story Runs On….
This is one of the many things I love about running. Of course everyone has their own running story and you should NEVER compare yourself to any other runner. But for me, I love the idea of continuously pushing myself to the next level. As they say, life begins at the end of your comfort zone and I can attest to this! Earlier this year I did my first 50 Miler at Antelope Canyon the day after my birthday. Even though I finished dead last, I felt strong and really enjoyed it (I know, crazy talk)…so of course the next goal is to push myself to the next distance level…sooooooo
I’m excited to announce that I will be doing the Black Canyon Ultra 100K!
Why did I pick this one? In no particular order…
- 100K is 62 miles so it’s the next step after a 50 miler.
- It’s on 2/18/17 which is the day before my birthday and I love doing crazy things on my birthday to remind myself how grateful I am for every year I am on this Earth.
- It’s an Aravaipa event and they are one of our local ultra/trail racing company. I’ve been doing their events since 2011 and they know how put on a good race!
- I get a buckle! I’ll admit to feeling a bit weird about this because usually you get a buckle for a 100 miler…the other funny thing is that I really don’t wear belt buckles at all (I spend most of my days in workout gear!) but a buckle is like a rite of passage in some strange way.
- It’s a point to point race which means I get to cover 62 miles of our beautiful AZ landscape. One of the reasons I love ultra running is the ability to visit places I’ve never seen before and enjoy Mother Nature.
- Aravaipa is hosting training runs on the entire course over 3 months which means I’ll get to preview the entire course before running it. Last Sunday I got to run the first 19 miles and loved it. It was mostly single track downhill. The hardest part for me is being afraid of heights. Some parts of the single track were very close to the edge of the canyon but the more I practice, the easier that will get….I hope!
- There is some cool history about this trail: “This historic trail is of national significance, following a route used since the times of pre-historic Native American travelers and traders. The Department of the Interior officially established the route as a livestock driveway in 1919, when it was used by wool growers from the Phoenix area to herd sheep to and from their summer ranges in the Bradshaw and Mingus Mountains. The Black Canyon National Recreation Trail was originally designed as a livestock driveway. Many segments of the trail roughly parallel the old Black Canyon stagecoach road between Phoenix and Prescott.”
I still can’t believe I am doing it but as crazy as it seems, I’m very excited. I’ve already started training and have already changed a few things from my 50 mile training:
- I’m spending even more time stretching and foam rolling. I’ve added more strength training to my weekly routine.
- I’m also varying my running workouts more than I did last year. This course has a net downhill elevation profile with about the first half being downhill and the 2nd half will include uphill climbing as well as several river crossings (which I used to be afraid of before but having done this several times now, I’m much more comfortable with it). So I am doing more speedwork and hill training. I’m also planning on doing more night trail running as I know I’ll be out there at night time.
- I still take 2-3 runs a week and listen to ChiSchool on shuffle so I can continue to improve on my ChiRunning form (my running form had the biggest improvement last year when I did this for the 50 miler). And I will continue to use the same nutrition advice I got for my 50 miler.
One of the other big motivators for me is that I’ll be raising money for Girls On The Run Maricopa County again via their SoleMates program. Last year, I raised $2100 so I want to bump that up to $2300 at least. I am on the Board of Directors and this organization means so much to me. If I only had this program when I was in elementary or junior high school! I want to help as many young girls as possible be part of the program so they can learn to dream big and activate their limitless potential!
What is the next challenge you are taking to get out of your comfort zone?
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)