For the last year I've been interested in thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I love the idea of being away from civilization for months (with occasional breaks to refuel), and I love the idea of pushing myself to do something I never, ever, ever, ever would have thought was possible for me. For the last couple of weeks I've been so seriously considering it that I've started downloading maps, reading guides and personal accounts, rereading a book about the trail and buying another one. I've started trying to figure out a budget. The hardest thing will not be the hike, but being away from my family for three to four months and figuring out how they will be able to make it without my income while I'm gone (save, save, save). My goal is April 2008 or 2009.
Then today I came home and found the latest issue of Ultrarunning in my mailbox. The cover story? A thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Strange, no?
In other news, I'm about to have either a very exciting or very foolish month. I'm going to complete four races in four weeks, three of them ultras. This Saturday I'll be racing in the Rockledge Rumble 50k. Two weeks later I will race in the Ultracentric 24 hour track race (with a goal of 100 miles so I can be officially recognized as a "Centurion" racewalker). Two weeks later I will race in the Sunmart 50 miler. And then the next day I will join my Team in Training mentor group for the White Rock Half Marathon. I've registered for all races except White Rock. My plan is to take it easy and enjoy Rockledge, then push hard for 100 miles at Ultracentric, then stay under the cutoffs at Sunmart and just cruise slowly with the Team at White Rock. If I'm having any weird aches or pains, I'll skip a race; I don't want to get an injury.
After that it will be Bandera 100k in January, then Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in February. Assuming all goes well......gulp......