Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Northwoods Winter Trail Marathon

Back at it!

I was hoping I'd be back in running shape before January hit so that I could again run the Northwoods Winter Trail Marathon. Last year it was warm and soggy, post-holing through deep snow.  This year it was beautifully firm snow, perfect conditions, 25F and no wind. What a treat!

I made my way to the trail at a leisurely 800 AM Saturday morning. It was fun to help Andy out with setting up the race start, filling aid station jugs of water, assembling age group win awards and doing whatever I could to assist. There was plenty of time.

The course was absolutely beautiful. Stunning views of the river, running along it for miles, the views of the city from Hawk Ridge, frozen waterfalls, it is really spectacular. 

My ankle felt solid, my body strong and my heart filled with joy. I had an amazing day. I never felt tired or bored or like I wanted to quit. A  marathon is a joyous distance to feel nothing but happiness, to be out in the woods long enough but not too long. I wasn't wet, I wasn't cold, I was comfortable. I wasn't pushing my limits, I was strolling along, taking in all of the beauty that the Duluth trails offer. 

I finished the race 45 minutes faster than last year at 5:45. Like last year I won the 50-59 age group. No pain, all gain. It was a good test to my current level of fitness after breaking my ankle and I'm so happy that I am in a good place. I have a good base of fitness and don't seem to have lost anything after spending 12 weeks without very much movement.

Today I find myself wondering why I even want to run longer than 50K distance? Do I even want to push myself? Why would I want to be in pain and have to recover the next few days?  Perhaps I just stick to 50K again. I don't know. I still find myself thinking I'll put in for Superior 50 Miler. There were be pain and suckage but at least it is not the 100. Did I say that? Hmmm..interesting how my perspective may be changing, at least at this moment.

Yeah, I'll put in for the 50 Miler at Superior. I feel great. 

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