The 2010 season was a real eye opener for me. I was introduced to trail and ultra running and took to it almost immediately. The idea of cruising through some soft single-track being accompanied by a peaceful, natural soundtrack sounded so fantastic and simple that I couldn't believe I hadn't really given it a shot before. I bought some Brooks Cascadia 5's, found some local trails and shot up them like a three legged tortoise. Sure I was slow...but I felt free when I was on those trails. It's a place where problems like overpopulation, car pollution and work problems are minimized. Needless to say I was hooked. I signed up for a trail half marathon with over 2000 feet of vertical gain and loved every minute of it. Yes it hurt and yes....yes...I was slow. REAL SLOW. But it was the most fun I had at a race up to that point.
I then read Born to Run, subscribed to a fair number of ultra-marathoner blogs for daily inspiration, checked Scott Jurek's twitter on regular intervals and found that I had found new ways to stay motivated. I dropped 30 pounds, shaved over an hour off my Marathon PR, 13 minutes off my half marathon PR and signed up and finished two ultra marathons. (Of the 50K variety)
The point of all this is that my focus has changed. For the past few years I had primarily been focused on the marathon distance. This year I'm going further. I may not even run a traditional marathon. I'm not exactly sure yet. What I do know is that I'm going to focus on the White River 50 Miler in July. I do have races scheduled before then but that will be my focus for the year. I may also try out a 100K in september but my plans to run the Where's Waldo in August have been scrapped. In any event...that's a brief explanation on my thought process this year. My race plan is as follows:
February 5th - Orcas Island 50K
April 30th - Capitol Peak 50 Miler
May 15th - Capital City Half Marathon
July 30th - White River 50 Miler
September - TBD
October 15h - Defiance 50K
So there you have it. No marathon on there though I wouldn't completely rule it out. I need to find a cheap one though because all of these entry fees add up to a fairly significant amount. Running is a deceptively expensive sport...especially as your weekly mileage creeps up to the levels required to run Ultramarathons.