Monday, October 19, 2009

Plans, They Are a' Changin'

Next year was going to be the "Year of the Trail" for me. I had designs on making three different Speed Record Attempts on various historic trails ranging from 140 to 370 miles. On top of that, I was going to kick off the spring by making a serious attempt at becoming the 9th person to finish Barkley. ....then the whole "World Championships in France" thing popped up in my schedule and forced me to re-think my 2010 plan. Obviously this is a good problem to have.

Since I'll need to focus lots of my training on flatter road-style terrain over the next 7 months, I'm scrapping Barkley and one of my trail attempts for the spring. The Race Director for the sold-out Umstead 100 was nice enough to let me into the race last week, so I'll have that as a suitable March warm-up for France. Running 100 miles on those park roads is just a wee bit more appropriate as training for France than the sawbriar mountains and 52,900 feet of elevation gain at Barkley.

Given that the France race also takes place on the same day as the Massanutten 100, I'll have to push my return to MMT back yet another year....which stinks, but isn't completely bad: I'll be able run on 71% of the course in February after earning my invitation to run the 71 mile "Reverse Ring" course by finishing "The Ring" last month. The extra experience and longer wait will only make my eventual return to MMT that much more successful, I'm sure.

Once I get back from France, I'll still have half the year to work in some of my trail plans, and the major focus will be on challenging the Vermont Long Trail record (271 miles in 4 days, 12 hours, 46 minutes). There are lots of reasons for me to make a serious run at this record, but I'll save those for a future post. As of right now I'm thinking I'll be ready to make the attempt in late August or early September of next year. Jonathan Basham broke the record this year w/ a September run, and I'll admit even before his record effort I also thought this was a good time to do the run for weather & bug reasons. I didn't spend the first 28 years of my life in the New England woods and not notice things like that. I'll talk more about the Long Trail as the time for that run draws closer.

As for the rest of 2009, I'm ready to focus on one more solid effort in the next couple months, but to be quite honest there isn't much to chose from on the race schedule! I would have loved to run the Pinhoti 100 in Alabama, but it happens to be one of those races that would randomly cost me about $3.2 million to get to. I think I'm better off saving my $$ for France this year. I'll save Pinhoti (which looks like a great point-to-point 100 miler) for another year when travel plans are easier to work out.

As an alternative I'll be pushing up one of my solo Trail runs from 2010 to next month. I still need to work out the logistics, but most likely I'll be heading out to run the 140 mile Horse-Shoe Trail in PA (Harrisburg to Valley Forge) in the middle of November. It'll be a little late to catch the foliage up there, but I'll still enjoy the countryside (and probably the company of a few horses too!) during my journey. Since this is a lesser known trail in the running world, I'm not sure an official "Speed Record" exists (still researching that), but for someone who is looking to take it a little easy on his run and appreciate nature a bit, I consider this is a good thing. Enjoying a little relaxing time on the trail before focusing seriously on France sounds like a perfect plan to me! Giddy-up!


sc said...

Hey Dan -- here's to a successful and HEALTHY season! Hope to see you out on the trails sometime or if you're ever in our fair city!

AnthonyP said...

You are going to have an amazing 2010. Great to see that you will be at Umstead. I'll see you there.

About Arrowhead is going to take a lot of convincing to get me to do that one. I can deal with the 128 degrees of death valley, but the cold temps at Arrowhead are not my cup of tea. Plus, it is only 1 week after Brazil. Then never know. :)

Dan Rose said...

Ok Anthony, how about we tag team Arrowhead in 2011. I'll pull the sled w/ our food and tent, and you can pull the one w/ the 150,000-btu heat generator. Sounds like a good plan to me!

AnthonyP said...

Deal. LOL

nmp said...

The horse-shoe trail should be a nice run - you get to go through the hear of amish country so there should be no shortage of whoopie pies to fuel your journey.

I think you should really go for the 24 hr worlds and MMT double. Worlds is the 13-14 and MMT is on the 15th. Given the time difference I think you could make it back in time - just catch a few hours sleep on the plane and you will be good to go :)

Dan Rose said...

Thanks for the PA-native tip on the Horse-Shoe trail, Nick. I am indeed a whoopie pie fan, so I'll definitely plan a couple stops along the way to sample the local products.

As for the Worlds/MMT double, I'm planning on blowing myself out so hard in France that I may not be able to finish MMT the next year, never mind the next day!

Jamie Donaldson said...

What amazing plans Dan! What about Badwater??? Isn't that on your list :)!

Dan Rose said...

Jamie, I'll only go to Badwater for two reasons:

1) Pace you to a sub-25 hour run

2) Pace David for a buckle of his own

Take your pick!

Chris Roman said...

Excellent plan for 2010.. if you are definitely coming back to Ironhorse let me know, welcome to stay with us in Jax. I'm no Jamie D of course but I thought you were going to help me at Badwater if to be so lucky to get in :( - no worries I hear her team has the engine cooking down to a science with respect to chix fingers and fries, good choice!!!

Dan Rose said...

Oh no worries, Chris, I'm 100% in your corner for Badwater if you get in. Jamie doesn't need my help...shoot, she could get it done unsupported out there at this point. I'll be so pumped to join Team Roman if you get in!
As for Iron Horse, I'm definitely coming back. Not sure on my travel plans just yet, but I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the offer!