I think I'm going to try another Hundred. In the spring. The cold New Jersey spring.
The state of New Jersey does not strike me as a hotbed of trail running, but what do I know? Looks like they have a great series of trail races going on down there, including the NJ Ultra Festival starting March 19th.
The course is a flat, repeating T-shape, 25 miles long. Do the whole thing four times and VOILA! The trails are not technical, but they are somewhat scenic (cow farms, horse farms and the like). The surface is described as "crushed stone." So it's kind of like a road race on a soft surface.
Ideally, I'd love to run one of the big mountain 100s. I like to think myself a bit gnarlier than "crushed stone." But I have to be realistic. I have limited training time, zero travel budget, and I live in coastal Connecticut with nary a mountain in sight.
This race feels safe to me. As safe as any 100-miler can feel. I don't want to get too complacent. 100 miles is 100 miles, and it will be difficult no matter what the surface. But it ain't Hardrock and it ain't Leadville, that's for sure.
I like the idea of having a long race in early spring. (Though March 19th is technically still winter, I guess.) It will be good for me to have an eye on the pie all through my winter running. And it will be good knowing that all of my local runs are hillier than that course. Anything I run here will be more than sufficient hill training.
So I am starting to ramp up my mileage. I'm waiting to see how my foot holds up during the next month before I actually sign up for the race. Signing up always jinxes me. I lost a lot of money last year signing up for races too early, thinking my VT injury would heal much more quickly than it did.
So far all systems are GO! I'm loving the training. I feel motivated, you know. As I sit here, it's 5:30 in the morning, dark and absolutely pouring outside.
And I'm leaving you now to go for a run.....