(I know that I'm falling behind with writing about non-running related stuff. A post is coming shortly, I promise...)
Shortly after the Berlin marathon I was planning to write a post outlining my plans for 2013. Now, 1.5 months later. I still didn't do it and it's not only because I didn't have time (though that, too), but mostly because my plans hadn't materialized just yet.
One thing I know for sure is that I want to take my Lakeland 50 experience further and to try to run a 100 miler. And, quite clearly, all my plans for next year would be geared toward that goal. Now, here's where the problems start: I haven't found my dream 100-miler yet.
My first thought was Western States 100. It's very famous so it seemed to be an obvious choice. However, I'd have to be super lucky to make it through their lottery system. And, as it turned out, I won't even be able to test my luck, as they don't recognize the Lakeland 50, as a qualifying race :/.
My second candidate was San Diego 100, as I had the impression it's a relatively well known (and hence, hopefully, well organized) race and it's in California. However, now that I'm getting used to the scale of things in the US, I realized that it's actually a 7.5h drive to San Diego. Ouch. I guess my initial plan of just going there for the weekend and coming back without taking any holidays does not sound very realistic ;). Flying of course is an option but the race starts in the middle of nowhere, some 1h driving away from the airport, so it doesn't look too sweet logistically, either. Besides, if I'm to fly I can as well start looking outside of California too. Finally, the race requires all participants to volunteer 6h of trail maintenance, so that means I'd have to go there for another weekend... all in all it starts looking less and less appealing.
So I'm back to square one. I went over to http://marathons.ahotu.com (best ultra calendar I know) and checked that next year there are 41 one hundred mile races and 6 of them are in California. Unfortunately not any race will do. Obvious desired features include: somewhat well-known, well organized race and a nice, interesting course. But there's one even more basic requirement that I have: I don't want to run 50 (or however many) 2-mile loops and there's quite a lot of races of this kind. I'm sorry but this is not the ultra experience that I'm looking for. Maybe I would consider running 2 loops or running there and back, but that's as far as I'll go.
So far my search left me with Tahoe Rim Trail and Born to run, both 4+h away by car, which is much more managable than San Diego. I though I found one interesting race even closer, but now I cannot find it again... maybe I only dreamt of it. Well, I guess the search goes on. Suggestions very welcome :).
Half-marathon in Monterey
While I'm still working on my plans for 2013, there are still few things to do this year. In fact this Sunday already I'm heading down to Monterey where I'll run a half-marathon. I wrote down my goals before, so I'm not going to change them, but I essentially know now that going below 1:30:00 is very unlikely. My guesstimation is that I'm now worth 1:32:00 and should not complain if I run within that time. Let's see.
Yosemite here I come!
After the half-marathon, next week Thanksgiving is coming and with it a long, 4 day long (!) weekend. And what better thing to do in such a period than going running? And what better place to do that than the famous Yosemite National Park?
My initial plan was, ekhm, rather brave. As part of preparations next year I wanted to do a 100-miler over this 4 day trip; 2 runs per day, around 20km each. I know it sounds insane, but hey, if I'm ever to do that in one go, then I guess doing it in 8 separate segments, with plenty of rest in between should be doable, right? Right?!
Of course, I'm aware that this would be drastically stepping up my training volume all of a sudden, which is asking for injury, so I'd reserve the right to tone the plans down or even stop completely if the injury was lurking around the corner. However, merely being tired, would not be an excuse good enough :)
Unfortunately with the sunny and warm California weather I got completely spoiled and didn't "realize" that Yosemite, means mountains and mountains in November means cold and snow. In fact, as of today, many roads in the park are closed and tire chains are compulsory. And I though the only problem I'd have to face are the terrible traffic jams on Thanksgiving... Well, I guess I may need to adjust my plans somewhat. But as of today, for what it's worth, I'm still planning to head to Yosemite. Wish me good luck :). Will keep you updated and hopefully lots of cool pics are coming!