As a trail runner one thing you quickly learn is to not look back. Looking behind almost always causes you to stumble and fall. Then you lose momentum and, at times, have trouble starting back up again. But there are times when it's safe and even beneficial to look back and take in the path you have already traveled.
As I was running this morning I was in a nostalgic frame of mind because today is my firstborns birthday. It was difficult to reduce to a few words what I wanted to say to him. Those words were something like the first words he and I shared together, private. Because I'm old fashioned like that. But the walk down memory lane got me thinking about where I've been in different aspects of my life. Of course, running was one of them.
With that it's time for a numbers update: 2095.4 miles for the year. Day 1195 of the streak. 10,497.6 streak miles.
Now that I've looked back it's time to look forward. Often I remind the biggest of my littles that he needs to remember where he has been but have a plan for the direction he wants to move forward in. The same is true for me. Let's see where I'm going in the days ahead.
In 15 days I will be running The Ring. This is 71 miles on the Massanutten trail. The reason I am running it three fold. 1. I need to get past a mileage barrier I feel I have created for myself. 2. It will be the first on many runs to prepare myself for another MMT 100. 3. The Massanutten trails are calling me back.
In 42 days I will be running the Mega. The Mega is about a 27ish mile climb in PA. It is a course like no other I've ever been on. It offers an element - boulder climbing - that I don't get anywhere else.
In 71 days I'll be back again for FOTM. That's the 50k in MD that has an unexpectedly challenging course. It's low key, real ultra trail running feel always makes me feel like a bada## when I finish it. Plus this race was one of the first races I really found trail running peace during. I go back year after year to find it again.
In 91 days I'll be back again for the Stone Mill 50 miler. This could be the year that Lesley at Racing It Off joins me for some very supported fun. Although with those long legs of hers and her killer racing lately she may been at the finish before me. If she is she'd better get some great finish line photos of me.
Sprinkled in between these dates are a hand full of training runs for different races and of course my daily running streak continues. So it's a trail without end. It's a race without a victory. There will be no finisher's medal or golden buckle for reaching an end point. I have not ultimate destination. The trails just continues and as long as I keep feeling that pull to see what is around the next bend or over that hill, I will continue to run forward. No matter the pace I will continue to see what draws me to those place that are just beyond where my eyes can see.