Everyone knows that the first thing you do after you sign up for a race is panic. It’s pretty common knowledge. So I did just that. It felt like home. But after the initial, “are you out of your mind”, I was ready to get at it.

It’s a little difficult to get mountain style running here in the Midwest. So the next best thing is to hit the trails. Research every single trail that you possibly can that give you tons of elevation. Panic, because there is nothing like mountains even close to here. But I’m not going to let that get to me. I’ll just head out to as many different places as possible and have a good time with it. I do sense a few trips to the mountains this summer. Darn, that just sounds terrible.

So today was the first of many trips to the Nordic Trail Head. It’s a nice 9 mile loop that gives you some great elevation. It’s under an hour away but still, it’ll get old driving there once or twice a week. Again, it’s challenging to get mountain running in the Midwest. Other ideas include setting my treadmill to a super high incline and just run/walk it for 45-60 minutes once or twice a week. I could always run a hilly course since it’s one of the fancy ones with training routes and the ability to map out your own route.

Below are a few thoughts from after today. I’ve been doing lots of my running on the road the last few months and the trails, with all the crazy hills, got the heart pumping a little more. Excellent (in my best Smithers voice)…

The obvious next place to continue my panicking was in the gear realm. I have never had to carry so much while running. So finding a comfortable pack was a big deal. I still haven’t pull the trigger on one but I do have my options down to just a few. I might just end of going with two different sizes. There are a few other things in the gear realm. Every race review, movie, documentary, they all say to get a pair of shoes size up. Once you hit 140-160 miles you feet have swollen so much that many people start cutting out the toe box, and ruining a good pair of shoes, if they don’t plan ahead. While it’s easy to just buy a pair of shoes that are larger. I’m a little worried about running in them. I thin I’ll need to try it out once or twice, just to get an idea of wha the larger size feels like. Know about any spots that slip or rub and the overall feel of shoes that stick out a little further. No long runs, just a few miles at the end of a long day.

I’m also a little worried about crew. I can’t imagine what they’ll be thinking and talking about if they have to sit there for days at a time. There are segments that I’ll be out for eight or more hours between seeming them. Hopefully you like cards! Or poop jokes.

But that’s enough. Worrying isn’t going to change anything. Time to get to work. you’ve got goals buddy.