(This is a post in progress and will have periodic updates.)
Finishing the North Country Trail Run in 2020 fills me with joy and anticipation. Wonderful things happened last year there (after I got started) and I just know that this year will be more spectacular.
I want to keep a log of what I’m doing toward that goal, with side abouts about the joy I am finding in the journey. You’re welcome to follow along…
August 31, 2019 – I signed up for the marathon distance. Just a week after I finished the 2019 event. Initially, I told Bill it was a “one and done”. Within the next few hours, I was already reconsidering. I took him to the view near the end of the course a couple days after the event, and I knew I wanted to see that view again – at the end of 26 miles. NCTR sent out an email that registration was filling rapidly and would be soon sold out. We talked about it, and I decided to do the half. As I was filling out the registration, my mind kept saying “you know you can do the whole 26”, and then I heard another voice – Bill’s – saying “you know you can do the whole 26…”. Enough nudges! 26.2 is it!
September and October – We embarked on an epic journey through northern Michigan, into Canada, and then the New England States. We found several trails to hike – with elevations – getting a jump start on training.
October through March – Settled in Florida for the winter. I have been diligently practicing in the beach sand for those sandy hills on the course. Increasing my daily mileage is helping me prepare for distance. I have had some awesome buddies training with me – Bill, Jay, Kathi, and the Jacksonville Team RWB. All of these key partners have added inspiration and joy to the journey. You can bet they will be in my heart and mind on August 29. I’ve done a few events to help me prepare as well – the Amelia Island Zooma Challenge – running back-to-backs, the Space Coast Half, and the Mud Girl Run. Each event added an element of joy that will prepare me for August. Coming up – the Color Run this month.
March has given me a few challenges/lessons about flexibility in changing plans, listening to my body, and modifying. To date, I’ve logged 383 miles this year. Pretty much on track, I am still hoping to stash a few hours in reserve for just in case times. I am on a 349-day streak of logging 10k steps a day. Over a year of logging at least 1 mile a day. More endurance work! I am also working on mental readiness. The attitude of gratitude for the ability to do this stuff, for friends that join me in the journey, and for the love and support of my family. Bill is excellent in helping me make sure I hit the 10k steps.
I look forward to taking my work towards the NCTR goal on the road. Pretty soon, it will continue in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas – and then en route to Michigan. This is exciting – it lights me up – fills me with anticipation! I can already feel the smile and joy bubbling over when I cross the finish line!
So much has changed. Activities and events cancelled, so much uncertainty. One thing is very certain though. I must (not need, not want, not should) get daily activity. It is a big ferocious tool in my mental arsenal. I have 362 days in a row – a streak – of 10k steps per day. Over 14 months of logging at least a mile a day. Silly little goals? Maybe – but not from my perspective. I have a newfound appreciation for the mental resiliency I am building. Each day, one day at a time, one step at a time.