February-25-2012 will mark my first race since my drop from the Catoctin 50k last August. It will take place in Westminster, Maryland. The race is called the Hashawha Hills 50k Trail Run. It's put on by the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club. They put on some great runs and their volunteers are 100 percent committed to making the event the best they can. This year 120 people (if everyone show's up) will toe the line and give it their absolute best. This brief description is taken from the Hashawha Hills website:
"The course has about two miles of asphalt, three miles of gravel road, and 26 miles of trail. The course is mostly single track trails along with some old woods roads and open fields. The entire course is runnable. There are no mountains, no rocks, and no roots, but there are a few stream crossings (you WILL get your feet wet) and never ending small hills to wear you down with a few bigger hills thrown in just for fun. The scenery changes from mostly woods to meadows and open fields with beautiful views of rolling farmland."
Sound's like a perfect way to spend a Saturday. With it being 9 day's out, I know the weather can change over and over by race day. But so far so good, sort of. They are calling for a low of 37 and high of 48 with rain and or snow shower's. To me, that is perfect temp's to be running. But if it does rain/snow it could make for a muddy and slippery course. Yes, we all want to be kid's and go play in the mud. However, I would rather not do it while running. This past week I have been dealing with what I believe is Plantar Fasciitis. With that said, I am hoping to have the "easiest" 50k I can have. I have taken the last few day's off to rest, ice, and do whatever else I can to make this pain subside as much as possible. At time's I can hardly stand on it. So if the course stay's dry and I don't have to plant and slip all day long, it may turn out to be a pretty good day.
Not saying I have a shot at being near the top. There's no chance at that. There are some work horses that will be down there clocking some good miles. Local area stud's and Mercury Endurance standout's Matt McDonald and Jamie Boward will be there. They should be at or near the top. On the Women's side. Sarah Boward (Jamie's wife) will be running as well. Alisa Springman will be there looking to podium. I went over the entry list last night and was amazed at all of the talent that will be down there running. It should really be exciting and I look forward to giving it my best. I have a goal in my head that I want to run, but will keep that to myself. If all else fail's, I will come out with a finish and a bunch of photo's. I know one thing for sure. VESPA will keep me going for the long haul and I will stay clear and motivated. I will burn the right fuel. While Injinji's awesome Compression Toe Sock's will keep my calves and feet feeling refreshed and blister free.
Some year's back I raced a small 5k down in Westminster and recall it being a pretty scenic area. Where we live in Williamsport, the farmland's are disappearing, giving way to development's. It's going to be so nice to go down there and enjoy some untouched area's. That's why I have been enjoying trail running lately. I am starting to realize that these "natural" area's will not be around forever. I want to absorb as much as I can before my leg's tell me, "no more." But for now...
...All I keep thinking is this will be a great place for my first race back. I have logged the long miles in training so I am not worried about "going the distance." They allow music so I can just zone out and run the trail's and enjoy a day of getting fitter and being outside. I'll be looking forward to seeing some people I haven't seen in a while. And some unknowingly lucky people will be getting some free Injinji Toe Socks. Yep....I can't wait!!