How to Fill a Race Schedule in Two Months

As of August 31, my running schedule for the remainder of the year was completely empty with the exception of […]

By on October 31, 2007 | Comments

As of August 31, my running schedule for the remainder of the year was completely empty with the exception of pacing duties at the Grand Teton and Wasatch 100s the following two weekends. It was around that time that my excitement about running was piqued during my running trip out west. To keep me motivated through the fall, I immediately signed up for the only “big” east coast fall race for which entry was still open – the Hellgate 100k held in mid-December. Upon returning home, I signed up for two more races, the Odyssey 40 miler (9/22) and 24 Hours of Momentum (10/13) , as supported workouts to continue working on my fitness.

[Commentary: Ok, not bad. Still a low key fall with some workouts along the way with one race each in September, October and December… and then the past three weeks happened.]

By mid-September I was talking about a thru-run of Shenandoah National Park with Greg Loomis and about three weeks ago we started zeroing in on the weekend right after Thanksgiving as a possible time to run it.

[My fall still seemed reasonable at this point. I had two races and two corresponding DNFs at Odyssey and 24 HoM behind me and a pair of tough runs – an ambitious SNP thru-run and Hellgate – left one the calendar for 2007.]

A few days after tentatively setting the SNP thru-run dates, I decided I would head up to the Stone Cat 50 (11/10) to join fellow Haverford College alum, Gavin “Sparky” Boyles, at his first ultra.

[By now my schedule is filling up, but it’s still reasonable here. Wait… the good part is coming.]

Enter this week. En route to work Monday morning, I receive an email from Loomis informing me that there were open entries for this weekend’s Mountain Masochist 50 miler (11/3). I immediately called Dr. Horton, he emailed me the entry form, and I faxed it back that morning. Done and done.

[I now have 50 milers scheduled for consecutive weekends. A Masochist I am becoming.]

Yesterday, the perfect storm was set in motion. I an off-hand comment to the right (or is it wrong) person, I mentioned that I’d be up at the JFK 50 (11/17) whether to pace or to run. This set wheels in motion that resulted in me being entered in JFK as well!

[Um… yeah.]

Where do I even begin? How about the here and now? The next 3 Saturdays I’ll be running 3 50 mile races. The following weekend my recovery will consist of 107 mile length of SNP on the Appalachian Trail. After another two weeks of crying myself to sleep or possibly psychiatric intervention I’ll toe the line at Horton’s Hellgate 100k.

Let’s total those efforts up. At the top, 150 miles of racing in 15 days. Follow that up with the thru-run of SNP and that’s 257 miles of hard effort in 23 days. Not done yet. Finish me off with Hellgate and thats 319 hard miles, including 212 (err, 216+) miles of racing, in 36 days. Should be fun!

Summary of Pain:
Mountain Masochist 50 mile (11/3)
Stone Cat 50 mile (11/10)
JFK 50 mile (11/17)
SNP thru-run – 107 miles (11/24-25)
Hellgate 100k (12/8)

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.