Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New York Fun Run

While reading Dean Karnazes's "Ultra Marathon Man," I got wild delusions of running the Western States 100 and earning a shiny new belt buckle. The thought of a brutal, day long, run/hike through snow, over mountains, and across rivers sounded like the perfect way to spend a weekend.
In just over a month, I'll be a little closer to possibly realizing my dream (most people's nightmare). On April 12, I'm going to be participating in a 50 mile endurance race in Bear Mountain, New York. In order to run the WS100 you need to complete another "ultra" in a specific amount of time, volunteer a number of hours at a race or doing trail work, AND have your name drawn in a lottery system. Hopefully I'll complete the NY race in under 11 hours and I'll be able to get my name in the lottery for the 2009 WS100. My actual goal for my first 50 miler is 9hours. Which is a 10:48 pace. As long as I can go out slow, I'm confident that I will be at the tape in plenty of time for the awards ceremony, 10 hours after the 5:00am start.
Maine winters and hectic work schedules aren't very conducive to training for an ultra, but I've been hitting the YMCA 4 to 5 times a week for varied workouts: 8 mile jaunts around the 1/12 mile track, hills on the treadmill, 10 milers, speed workouts, and snowshoeing on the weekends. Unfortunately this past weekend I got as sick as I ever remember being, so I haven't been active for almost a full week, so the month leading up to the event is going to be that much more crucial.
For more info on this insanity check this out.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Winter Wonderland

For our latest adventure we decided to do a little winter camping, so last weekend we made the trip to Acadia National Park. Despite having only a three season tent and a bag that is only rated at 25 degrees and losing feathers, we thought this would be a great weekend. After getting a permit from HQ we headed into Bar Harbor to grab some lunch before our mile long trek to base camp. As we were preparing to leave Subway, anther customer mentioned that a car in the lot had a soft tire, of course it was ours. Not to be deterred, we added air at a gas station and headed to the campground entrance, with the intention of dealing with the tire next day if need be. At the entrance, we put on our snowshoes and packs and started the trek into the campgrounds. We had the entire grounds to ourselves, apparently sleeping outside in the middle of winter doesn't appeal to a lot of people. Upon establishing a campsite, we loaded our day packs and started off in the general direction of where we wanted to end up. Unfortunately, in the winter, a lot of trees come down under the weight of the snow so even the trails were difficult to navigate. Since we had our hardcore snowshoes we decided to just forgo the plan and trails and wander. With a little bush whacking and scrambling we were able to see some pretty great sites. When we didn't get to a summit and the sun was getting lower, we decided to turn around and follow our tracks back to our temporary home at Black Woods. The beauty of snowshoeing is that you can go just about anywhere without impact and avoid getting lost because of your tracks. Once we made it made back to camp, we ate some delicious couscous, Ramen and tuna. The early sunset made for a pretty long night spent in our little tent, but we stayed pretty warm. Upon waking, Tay realized her error in not putting her boots in her sleeping bag with her, when she tried to put on her frozen boots. We made some oatmeal, broke down camp and began the hike back to our car, once there, and still with frozen toes, we decided to end our adventure. Although very little went as planned, it still was a pretty great weekend, sometimes it's just about who the adventure is with.