I swear that I didn't plan this one. I'm just as surprised as anyone. Honestly.
The big news is that I'm running the Big Horn Trail 50K tomorrow in the Big Horn Mtns. near Sheridan, WY. I had been considering using this 50K as a training run for Lean Horse for awhile. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how quickly the Big Horn races filled up and back in January when I finally decided to register for it, it had just filled up. Regardless, I sent in a paper registration but then never heard a peep about it after that, so figured that I didn't get in and would just have to try again next year. Well, this past Wednesday I got a call on my cell phone and it was a lady with the Big Horn races who wanted to know if I still wanted to be on the wait list. Wait list? Uh....um.....sure. A half hour later, I got another call and that time they asked me if I wanted to run. Uh.....um.....uh.....sure. It's both exhilirating and horrifying to find out that you're running a 50K with 3 days advance notice.
So, I'm off to Sheridan later this afternoon to get checked in and will start running at 8:00 tomorrow morning. I have no idea what to expect from this race. I've only run one 50K before (Lean Horse 2007) and I finished that one in 4:46. However, due to the wide variety of courses, times mean very little when you get into the world of ultras. Big Horn is at higher elevation than Lean Horse (it tops out at 8100 feet, higher than any elevation anywhere in South Dakota). Although the course drops nearly 4000 feet from the high point to the low point (the finish line), there are of course some uphills in there and it probably rates as a tougher course overall than Lean Horse. Plus the fact that I didn't really know I was running it until a couple of days ago, so I didn't specifically prepare to run a 50K this weekend (as evidenced by the 22.8 miles I ran last Sunday, just six days before Big Horn and the fact that when they called me on Wednesday I had just gotten done playing a fairly physical game of basketball). What I'm trying to say is that this will be the epitome of a training run. I have absolutely no time goal in mind; I just hope to take what the course gives me, enjoy the scenery (which I hear is phenomenal) and have fun. Of course, I'll have a full report when I get back.
Off to Wyoming!!