With all the highs and lows of 2008 in the rear view mirror, I'm currently enjoying a nice stretch of doing nothing but sitting on my butt and eating junk food. As fun as this lifestyle is, I will admit there's no better motivation to start planning my 2009 schedule than shoveling down yet another slice of pumpkin pie. Since I couldn't earn a spot on the 24 Hour National Team, my options are now wide open for the Spring. I'll be looking to run some new courses, pace/crew for the first time, and also lay early tracks for another big fund raiser for 2010...among other things...
For the next 2 weeks, I'm sort of in a holding pattern in terms of confirming my race schedule. The reason being is I've entered the Massanutten Mountain 100 miler lottery, and the results won't be posted until Dec. 12. I'm hoping to get into that race and avenge my DNF from this past May. Once I find out if I'm in/out, the rest of my schedule will fall into place. I really want to be able to focus 100% on this race if I get in. With relatively easy access to the course from DC, I'll be sure to get out there an hammer those trails until they're as familiar as the roof of my mouth. I really really really want to get back out there and erase the bad feelings I have from dropping last time.
If I don't get into Massanutten, I'll most likely set up a completely different training/racing schedule and focus on the Virginia 24 Hour Run for Cancer in April (date TBA). This run has obvious charitable appeal to me, and I'm hoping I'll be able to use the results to qualify for the 2010 24 Hour National Team. Since the course is only about 3 hours from DC, I'll also be able to check it out and ensure another Ultra Centric course fiasco doesn't occur. If it turns out that the Virgina course isn't certified/applicable for qualifying (I'm not sure who to check with, but I'll figure it out), I might end up heading out to the Cornbelt 24 Hour run in Iowa to qualify there. Obviously I'd rather stay local, but I'll go where I need to in order to achieve this goal.
Regardless of what my focus race is for the spring, I'll be mixing in some shorter races into my training schedule for sure. In March I'll be doing something I honestly didn't think I'd ever do again when I toe the line at the National Marathon here in DC. The reason I'm running this "regular" marathon is simply to log an official qualifying time for the Boston Marathon in 2010 - I'll need that Boston number to pull off my big charity event for that year. The plan right now is to run the marathon course 4 times in an row, with the last time being in the official race. More details will obviously follow, but first things first, I'll use the National Marathon course as a convenient qualifier since the course runs literally 1 block from my house.
I'm also hoping to get into the Bull Run 50 miler in April, but if that lottery doesn't work out for me, I'll be happy to volunteer on race day with my fellow VHTRC members. On that note, I'm also looking forward to offering up my pacing/crewing skills at a couple other races this spring. If I don't get into Massanutten as a runner, I'll certainly volunteer to pace/crew for anyone who needs me. I know that course well enough to help out any level runner out there. Depending on my schedule, I hope to offer up my pacing services for the Umstead 100 miler as well since I won't be running it myself this year.
All in all, I'm getting pretty excited for the Spring already...but until those Massanutten lottery results are posted, I have no option but to be just as excited for another slice of pie. Mmm!