Heading to the Holy Land and Other Upcoming Adventures

I usually sit down in January and plan out a race and training schedule for the upcoming year. Not this year. I didn't really have any plans except for a vague desire to run the Wonderland Trail at some point this summer, but to be honest, it could wait until next year, or maybe the year after. My motivation has been low, and the lottery and race entrance process doesn't help. It's hard to plan a race a year in advance. I have problems planning what I'm going to do next week and trying to squeeze runs in between the multi-colored Google calendar boxes.

I have a love/hate relationship with racing. I love racing when I'm doing it, but I get bad anxiety in the weeks and months before a big race. I lose sleep, I dream about the race, I get grumpy and stressed, and it's not just the normal tapering blues. It sucks, but what's really crazy is that I generally have a good time at races, I talk to people on the trail, I hang out before and after, thank all the volunteers, not to mention all the self-discovery and the mental and physical lessons that come with a long race.

I've been running consistently, but not very much, just enough to be fun, and to stay within a 10 pound weight-gain threshold, but then all of these opportunities started to come at me. I have a hard time saying no, so when I received an email from the Jerusalem Ministry of Tourism offering a trip to the Holy Land to run the Jerusalem Marathon, I immediately emailed them back and said I'd love to. Well, first I let out a high pitch squeal, then I emailed them, then I realized that I would be running a marathon in 5 weeks. On the road. The last road marathon I ran was three years ago, and I didn't think I'd ever run another one, but here I am, putting together a 5-Week Couch to Marathon Plan.

Who doesn't find religion at mile 22 of a marathon?

Then, I got a message from a friend asking if I'd be interested in doing the High Sierra Trail in July, and of course I was, and I realized that that would be great training for a Wonderland Trail Loop in August or September, and what better use of all that fitness than the Bigfoot 120 in October. I went back and forth on that one, and the marketing (read price increase) finally got me to click the bright green Submit button, so I'll be doing that in October.

120 mile of singletrack through the mountains of Washington? Count me in.

I didn't set out to make a list of races and adventures, but I guess a list just kind of came to me, and I'll be racing, and I'll be nervous and anxious in the months leading up to each of these, but I'm sure that I'll love every step of the journey. Here is my unmotivated, not wanting to plan too far in advance, unambitious race list:

March: Jerusalem Marathon
May: Georgia running trip
July: High Sierra Trail
August or September: Wonderland Trail
October: Bigfoot 120

I love it when a plan comes together.

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