In a little more than 72 hours, I will be traveling to Toronto for my first solo running adventure. Since this trip first appeared on the radar a few months ago, it has changed significantly. Initially, thanks to winning a free registration through BibRave‘s weekly twitter BibChat, I had registered for a 50 km trail race at the Northface Endurance Challenge in Collingwood, Ont. My family and I were also going to make the whole race just part of a road trip for a summer vacation.
Through the jigs and the reels, I am now flying to Toronto myself where Michelle (of michelletherunner fame) will be my guide for an epic running weekend. After my Fredericton Marathon experience, I decided to choose another goal marathon for the fall in an effort to get my sub 3:45 goal. My coach, Chuck Dixon, was willing to help guide me through the 50 km race and the fall season, but he was very adamant that such a long race mid-season could drastically alter or affect how the fall races went. After a LOT of deliberation, I finally decided to change my 50 km race to a more manageable half marathon. It’s still going to be a pretty good challenge – check out the elevation profile for the 50 miler!
As luck would have it, not too long ago Michelle contacted me and mentioned that IF I was interested, I could make my trip a bit more of an event by registering for a second trail race – the 5 Peaks trail race at Rattlesnake Point in Milton, Ont. Knowing that this kind of opportunity was not going to present itself very often made it very tempting. Add in the fact that Michelle has created a weekend trail challenge event based around competing both races AND gotten all kinds of amazing draw prizes for participants and I couldn’t resist. So now on the day before my trail half marathon I am doing the 5 km sport course at Rattlesnake Point.
Besides doing two amazing trail races, I’m also really hopeful that I will get a chance to meet and talk to a lot of the runners in that part of the world that I’ve gotten to know through Twitter. Rumours of a social, easy run in the city and large amounts of group selfies abound! I’ve jokingly told people that I will make myself available for autographs and photo ops, but in reality I’m super excited to meet these people myself – they are such a supportive and inspiring group of runners!
It is going to be a lot of fun and quite a busy few days. I’m challenging myself to just enjoy the events and all of the activities surrounding them more so than the competitive aspect. It has literally been 20 years since I’ve raced on trails and my hip has still been nagging me so there isn’t a whole lot to be gained by pushing myself too hard. Regardless, both events will result in trail racing PBs for the distances and I really want to enjoy the scenery and people – something that is much harder when you are uber-focused on a PB or placing in your age group, etc.
I will, of course, be doing detailed recaps of both races and likely an entirely separate recap of the non-racing related experiences from the whole weekend as well. It is going to be quite an adventure and hopefully the recharge I need for a busy second half of 2014!