Dec 7, 2007

I just registered for my first ultramarathon.

The best cheesesteak in philadelphia is not the cheese-wiz-laden joint with the long lines full of tourists, but rather on a triangular lot wedged between a railroad track and a chemical factory, and is closed on weekends in the wintertime.

dear readers,

the last three weeks have been met with impressive progress in the weight loss project, with a 6% loss in bodyweight since the philadelphia marathon, yet i have had a void in my life - a vacuum that i longed to fill. and as much as i was focusing on the weight loss, the inevitable fact was that each day, a nagging, growing presence in the back of my mind gained a little more prominence until i could no longer ignore it..

the void? i had no race plans. my calendar was blank. there were no races to look forward to.

(well, there was one race - the vermont 50 miler. but it's nearly a year away, and registration won't even open until june, so it didn't count.)

sure, i had some vague ideas that i wanted to run a marathon or perhaps a 50k in the spring. i was thinking that i may do something completely stupid and register for a 100k in july. but at that point those ideas were on a jello foundation and pretty much amounted to delusions of grandeur.

so i had to fill the void. i had to have something to train for. some purpose, some meaning, some goal. so i looked to the ultramarathon calendars. and i found a race. it was perfect. it was in april, it was only an hour or two from home, it was on flat ground, it was the right distance, and it was low-key.

i am officially registered for the lake waramaug 50K ultramarathon on april 20th, 2008 in northwestern connecticut.

i have run 4 marathons in my lifetime, all in the last year. they were all standard length, 26.2 miles. any race longer than a marathon is considered an ultramarathon - and 50K is 31 miles. It's not much, but it counts, and it will be my first.

of course, apparently, most ultrarunners consider 50 miles to be the minimum distance for a "real" ultramarathon, and i am inclined to agree with them. but this is a major step for me, and after clearing this 31-mile hurdle, my next step most likely will indeed be the 50 miler. but at this point, a commitment has been made - i am going beyond the marathon - and only time will tell how far i will go.

"The only way to know your limits is to go beyond them." -Arthur C. Clarke

Speaking of the weight loss project, it's proceeding slower than expected. I am not as bothered now as I was earlier in the week, as I know now that my dream goal of 250 is out of reach. 260 is still possible, but it would take some significant luck and a lot of work to reach.

The numbers:
Tuesday 12/4 274
Wednesday 12/5 273.6
Thursday 12/6 272.6
Friday 12/7 272.2

I am going skiing tomorrow (Saturday). Not only will it be my first skiing of the year, but it will also be the only exercise I will have gotten since the Philadelphia marathon. A week from tomorrow, I will be flying to California, where I'll be spending a month hanging out with my parents, skiing, and working (i telecommute). more to the point, i also will resume running, as i have a 50k to train for. i will also try to restrict calories as much as possible, with a goal to leave california weighing at least 10lbs less than when i arrived. should be fun.

oh, i'll be skiing hunter if anyone's around. call my cell.