Tuesday, October 15

Fast and Rough: A Trail Running Scheme

A coworker who is contemplating suicide by half marathon next year asked me how I felt the day after the run.  Before I could answer he changed his question to how I felt the same day but after the race.  Then he answered his own questions with a question:
“Probably shouldn’t make any plans, eh?”
It was the easiest bit of advice I’ve ever given.  And since it hadn’t really cost me anything I proceeded to elaborate.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t do any work on a ladder.  And I wouldn’t plan on doing any yard work, especially any work that might involve squatting and lifting.  Or laundry.  Definitely don’t do any laundry if your washer and dryer are in the basement.  Plan ahead so you won’t need to do any laundry the day of the race, or probably even the day after.”
As you can see, I’m something of an expert on half marathons now.  Bow to my expertise.
My fortieth year is winding down.  Hopefully I can look back on it and say that it was the year I totally went into midlife crisis mode and then things took an upturn after that.  I’ve participated in far too many organized events this past year.  Beginning on Thanksgiving Day of 2012 I have either ran or ridden in at least 8 organized events.  Too many.  Someone change the password on my active.com account to something I can’t easily guess.
I’m planning two completely unofficial, unorganized, unsanctioned, unsavory running events in the coming months.  Again, Thanksgiving morning Mandy and I want to do a run.  So we’re planning on doing a 10k beginning at 9am at Fitchburg, Kentucky.  I’m calling it the Fitchburg Turkey Addicts 5 & 10k.  Both are out and back runs beginning and ending in the same place.  Running a 10k on Thanksgiving morning will totally justify the overeating that will ensue later in the day.
The second event is much more ambitious for me—but which I have been scheming for a few weeks now—and should ring in the New Year with a vengeance.  I’m calling it the Fast and Rough 25k.  I’ll be starting out from Martin’s Fork Trailhead just east of Nada Tunnel in the Red River Gorge and then running Rough Trail to its end and picking up Swift Camp Creek Trail on Sky Bridge Road and running it to its end at Rock Bridge Trailhead.  16+ miles.  You guessed it: suicide by trail run.
I will most likely run a solo bike shuttle unless my family all have the urge to come out and cheer me on.  But I’m not going to ask them to do that.  January 4 will probably be a tad chilly.  And someone will need to be able to do laundry later that day.  Or the next day.  I’m guessing.  But if my wife were to want to do the run with me...well, I'd pay someone to do the laundry that day.  Or get those kids to start earning their keep.
After that I don’t have any big events planned, but I think I will start working on some other grassroots cheap-and-fast type runs/rides.  And why not?  If no one goes along with me…so what?  I can do the rides regardless, and if some kind of dysfunctional social gathering occurs then all the better.  We’ve been talking about getting together a running club or biking club around home anyway.
Okay, I lied.  I just remembered that Joe Bowen is organizing a half marathon trail run in September of 2014.  It’s called The Rugged Red.  I want to do that.  And I’m definitely going to do the Sheltowee Challenge 50k next fall, but it hardly counts as an organized event.  Oh, and there’s the Natural Bridge 5k…geez, I have a problem.
Well, no, I really don’t.  Those three events are local, small, and they appeal to me because they’re local and small.  Joe’s Rugged Red might end up being big, but 2014 will be its first year.  
I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I need to go ride my bike.

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