Trail Running Chronicles – The Beginning

You know about this new adventure if you have been reading the blog or following the podcast, but the training cycle for the 100 mile trail run, Infinitus, has officially begun.

And it begins with me in therapy trying to get the Achilles and Plantar Fascitis issue under control. Great way to begin the process right?

This venture is daunting, but for reasons other than my normal daunting. I know what to expect in a triathlon. I have done enough to understand the process, how to train for one, what to expect at the race, and how to get through one even if I am the slowest racer there. I know what to expect in a road race also, how my feet are going to hurt around mile 6-7, what to do if my back tightens up, the pain to expect after I am done.

But a trail run?

The closest I have been to one was the HITS 70.3 in Ocala when the first 3 miles of the run was though the woods on soft-ish sand. My first practice run there results in my first pulled Achilles, and that resulted in a 10+ hour 70.3 race because I walked the entire 13.1 mile run.

Not a good history to go on.

So, in 168 days, I am going to attempt to run 100 miles in Vermont in 48 hours.

Makes sense right?

The thing is this though, I know I am able to do this aerobically. Just like in my other racing, it is not the issue in me slowing down, stopping, DNF’ing. It is when my various injuries come back to haunt me. Even with those I am usually able to get through it (see my half marathon a couple of weeks ago). Maybe not that pretty, and damn slow, but I will finish.

The other issue that is weighing on me is that I have no idea how to prepare for this. Coach Meghan is on it as far as training, but what I mean is what do I wear … type of shoes … nutrition … resting … getting to Vermont … etc etc etc. It is my anal nature coming to play. Do I need trail specific shoes, and if so what should I be looking for, and what brands work best for people (knowing that I need to find what works for me specifically)? Do I stick with road brands like Brooks, or do I look at Trail specific companies like Salomon and Merrill? What about hydration? Can I get away with a small pack like the camelback I already have or should I look for one specifically designed for these races? With the course layout I should be able to just use what I have … because it loops like a “figure 8” (hence the name “Infinitus” I assume) right?

These are the things that drive my coach bat-shit crazy. 🙂

I have my first “taste” of trail running in 28 days. A 25K in the Withlacoochee wilderness called the “CroomZoom” so it is coming up fast.

I hope I am ready … because I am TIRED of failing at these things …

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