This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of The North Face Endurance Challenge.
|People know I'm not typically a TRAIL runner,|
but I'm not a complete novice either.
These are the trails behind my house,
groomed by yours truly.
Last night, I registered for my first Ultra Marathon.
On September 13, I will be running my first 50K (31 miles) at The North Face Endurance Challenge in Eagle, WI (southeast part of the state between Madison and Milwaukee) in the Kettle Moraine State Park. The 50K is just one of EIGHT race distances. Seriously, there is something for everyone at this event... 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon relay, marathon, 50K, 50 Mile and even a Kids Race.
My hubby has already in for the 5K, and it should be no surprise that my kids also want to run. The weekend race schedule is spread out nicely to accommodate everyone. To put the cherry on top, the start/finish is located right next to a campground. Hands down, our favorite summer activity is camping. My family is so excited for our North Face race/camp weekend!!
The North Face Endurance Challenge worked its way into my schedule so perfectly. I first considered this event back in 2011. Each year, there have been scheduling conflicts and honestly, I just wasn't ready for an ultra yet. With each passing year, I listen to my friend Rachel and others rave about the event. The North Face Endurance Challenge proves again and again that it is the premiere trail race series. It has held my interest and deep down in my heart, I knew it would be my first ultra when the time was right.
That time is now. My running mojo has changed this past year. I was once driven by speed (not that I was ever fast), but I was obsessed with the continuous drop in my race times. I think that's natural for a beginner to continually seek improvement. The chase for a new PR again and again was thrilling, but as we all know, the plateau comes eventually. When I finished the Eugene Marathon last spring, I was tapped out; exhausted. I felt like marathon training had stripped the enjoyment out of my run. Since then, I've honestly struggled to get into any kind of training zone. Sure, I run a lot of miles - but I enjoy every step without really taxing myself. I am rarely trying to hit particular paces or timing track splits, but I do like conquering distance. These days, I'm running for the pure enjoyment of the run. Since I'm not overly concerned with my times, it seems like perfect timing to tackle an ultra in the beauty of my home state.
The North Face Endurance Challenge falls nicely in my schedule, one month before the Milwaukee Marathon (my goal race of the year). The 50K will essentially be the last long run before my taper into the marathon. This is either genius or completely stupid, but sometimes you gotta roll the dice and have a little fun. My training won't vary much from the marathon plan already in place; however, I'll probably add more trail running in over the summer miles.
Now, I need some FRIENDS on the trail with me!
This is your official invitation to join me on September 13, 2014
in Wisconsin for The North Face Endurance Challenge.
Register here using my code D30JMWI
to receive 10% off your entry. Score!
(Next price increase is July 19.)
Did I mention Dean Karnazes will be there?!?
He is pure inspiration bundled up into one handsome package!
I heard him speak years ago at a race expo and it's truly worth your time.
Follow the trail of adventure!