I think that's one of aspect of trail running that keeps me coming back for more every time. I absolutely love finding new trails. I can't help but see what's around the next bend in the trail. What's over the next ridge.
This year, my actual racing schedule is pretty up in the air. The only races I'm 100% sure on right now is the Leona Divide 50, Plain 100, one of the Cap't Karls 60Ks, the Summer Solstice 6hr run I've done for a few years in a row now, and pacing Cascade Crest. I'm also contemplating doing the White Rock Marathon in hopes of a new marathon PR, but that's another post for another day.
This year I've decided to have some fun and do as much camping/trail running/adventuring as I can. I've had this idea to cover the entire Ouachita Trail in my head for awhile, but before I do that I've been wanting to run the Athens Big Fork Trail. Well, after more research I found the Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas. It's a combination of trails including the Athens Big Fork Trail.
The trail is only 26.8 miles round trip, but has over 13 "Arkansas mountains" to climb, with numerous river crossings. To say I'm excited to run this thing would be a HUGE understatement. I'm planning on heading up there the weekend of the 31st with a friend to run the whole thing, plus a few other possible trails.
We're going to get to do some camping, trail running, and adventuring. Doesn't get too much better than that.
Spending time in nature, and getting to cover large distances on foot does good things for me. It helps keep me grounded.
Running through any wilderness area will help put things in perspective. A good reminder of how small we really are.
I also have a few more adventure plans for the rest of the year. I'd like to run as much of the Ouachita Trail as possible, if not cover the entire thing. I'm thinking maybe cover 100 miles a weekend and it would only take 2-3 weekends. That's still up in the air.
I'm also going to go volutneer at Hardrock and camp out while there. I've never seen the San Juans in person, and am giddy like my 6th grade version in a candy store. Pictures of the San Juans blow my mind... I can only imagine what I'm going to think when I see these beasts in person.
So, with that said, I've got plenty of "maybe" races on the schedule, but we'll just have to see how things develop. I love racing, and love the chance to compete, but the schedule this year isn't coming together as well as I was hoping.
While I could trade out my Hardrock weekend and some of the time on the Ouachita Trail for some races, I think I'd rather embark on the adventures than race for right now... Plus, adventure training won't hurt when I get to Plain.
Lastly, praise God! I was able to run shirtless for the first time this year today. I love you Texas. Now bring on the heat.
This is a video that is hands down incredible. Deserves so much more recognition than it will ever get.