Monday, December 1, 2014

50,000


I won NaNoWriMo.

But everyone who validates 50k words "wins."  I really am more competitive than I used to think I was.  It was a big letdown to "win" that way.

Anyway, the book is of the Appalachian Gothic genre.  And I'll be publishing it under a pen name.  If I can get it published.  I've still got a book entitled Leadville or Bust sizzling on my hard drive.

I'm signed up for the Flying Pig.  Yeah, I'll win that.  In a pig's eye!

Recently another Kentucky ultra was announced: the Yamacraw 50k.  It'll be held in Big South Fork shortly before the Piggy.  My plan is to run it.  2015 is fleshing out like this:

Yamacraw 50k
Flying Pigarathon
(Rugged Red)
Cloudsplitter 100(k)

We've also discussed some road halfs like the Run the Bluegrass, Horse Capital Half, Iron Horse again, Derby Half...there's a distinct horse theme going on...and of course I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for other trail runs.  But I don't intend to do too many next year.

I'm leaning toward the 100k distance at Cloudsplitter.  Until this Yamacraw thing came up I was stuck on 50k as I didn't want to get in too far over my head.  Yamacraw is early enough I'll have plenty of time to learn from my mistakes and move powerfully toward Cloudsplitter.

I think if I have good success at Cloudsplitter in '15 then I'll try to get in through the lottery for Leadville in '16.  Lucky 42!

My pipe dream would also be to do the Silver King this summer.  Y'know, you ride and run the Silver Rush 50 on two consecutive days?  I've not stowed the mountain bike for good.  Heck no!  In the past month I've ridden at Cave Run, CVP, Skullbuster, and Veterans.  I'd have ridden the past week or so except I jacked up my wrist falling on the ice.  It's still jacked.

Not the ice at the park


I might be okay as long as I keep the brace on now.  Need to take a cautionary ride and see.  And I need to get healed.  The wrist is keeping me from the strength conditioning I'd just started and had vowed to finally follow through on.  The wrist is keeping me from the hot new bouldering area not too far away.  The wrist is killing my motivation.  On Thanksgiving and the day after I couldn't screw up the gumption to run for fear of the ice I knew was lurking at the park.

I have been running fairly regularly.  I'm easing back to being comfortable at a ten mile distance, though without any structured approach.  I ran at Indian Fort in Berea last Monday, then did Sand Gap, and finally last week before my turkey hiatus I ran two and a half miles up Sand Lick and back.  I lost track of how many times I stomped through a calf deep creek.  I crossed Sand Lick too many times.

Thanksgiving vows to exercise were soundly broken.  I lazed around the house all day Friday trying to trick myself into running.  Aforementioned park ice and a physical and mental lethargy kept me anchored indoors.  I did manage to sprint home on NaNoWriMo that day though.  Maybe it was a fair trade.
 
A good reason not to run
Rock Garden Trail, NBSP

I had set my mind to running the Hood Branch Trail at Natural Bridge but pissed Friday away in a state of apathy.  I kept thinking by the afternoon I'd be chomping at the bit to get out and exercise, but the cold temps, tryptophan, and a generally foggy mind kept me indoors until the sun was actually on its way down.

I decided I would not waste Saturday so frivolously.  I was up and out the door (with—for better or worse—a belly full of biscuits and gravy) by nine o'clock.  I hit the trail from the Sky Lift parking lot dragging a lot of mental baggage.

If I had ever been on Hood Branch Trail it was twenty years ago when I was ticking off all the official trails in the area.  As I ran along the trail I never got a hint of memory. But twenty years is twenty years no matter how good your geographic memory is.  I'll remember it now though.


Hoods is a good shorter option to Sand Gap.  It still feels remote, even though your come crashing out of the woods long before expecting to.  While Sand Gap is 8+ miles Hood Branch Trail (both combined with Low Gap and Rock Garden) is a mere 4.2 and shares the same termini.

As I turned it over on Hoods something occurred to me:  Natural Bridge State Park has the best concentration of loop trails in this part of the state.  The Red River Gorge proper lacks good long loops.  Tunnel Ridge provides a few loops of similar difficulty and length.  There's nothing on par with Sand Gap outside the state park.

Anyway, my plan is to back off the hard stuff through December and ramp up the speed and distance on flatter and less technical terrain while doing total body conditioning.  As of January 1 I'll be ramping up for Yamacraw and the Pig.  It'll be here before I know it.

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