• 66 laps for 100.3 miles at Hinson Lake 24-Hour Sept. 28-29. My best there in four tries so far is last year's 51 laps for 77-and-change. My best evah for the 24-hour format is 90.0 and that was a buncha moons ago, but I'm running strong and have my head in a good place. Much depends on the weather. And on whether I can go out slowly enough that I don't throw a rod and crack the engine block before dark. Working on the mental prep more than usual. (Translation: "More than usual" equals "any at all" for any race other than 3Days@theFair). Love this course. Love Tom Gabell and all his crazy helpers. Crazy psyched about Hinson already!
• Guide Bill Potts the final 34 miles to a successful Grindstone 100-Miler Oct. 6. Potts is a total beast. And in my closest circle of friends. I joined him at the Wild Oak parking area two years ago en route to his 24:30ish G-stone finish -- dude's FIRST 100-MILER!!! -- and also the master's male crown. He was so impressive. You can't hide stud. Memories for a lifetime, that day.
• Eclipse my 83.5-mile total at Crooked Road 24-Hour Nov. 17-18. Was off the course for a total of about 4 hours last year, so my desire is to fix that this time around. Trusting that, given RD Ricky and Sharon Scott's moving the run from early-December to mid-November, nighttime temps won't be in the low-20s again. Fingers crossed on this! Great people. Excellent course.
• Grab a whole buncha fun and some decent training miles at the VHTRC 50km in December and hopefully the Red-Eye 50km Jan. 1 and keep the time on feet cranked up during high school basketball referee season in prep for ...
• A solo shot at 100 miles on The Wild Oak Trail course. I've targeted March 22-24 for my try, so that means no Shamrock Marathon pacing or Umstead 100-Miler for 2013. Frankly needing a break from both for various reasons that don't matter much to anybody except me, so not worth elaboration here – but, for now, suffice it to say that I'm already fired up about taking on a new challenge that seems more than a little over my head. Already gotten a bunch of offers of crew/pacing support, so I feel as if I am in good hands. Dreaming of a 7 a.m. Friday start and a mid-evening Saturday finish. Emphasis on “dreaming.” Dream goal = 36 hours. Run founder and original/multi-time finisher Dennis Herr reminds me that there is no time limit, so I can take as long as I want and that I'll still get one of those rarest of rare finisher's shirts.
Let's see: Four loops. 36,000 feet of up and down. Maybe 15 people maybe have done 100 here. I think I'm the slowest one to give it a real try. We're talkin' big league here, kids. I essentially started my ultrarunning career on this loop, so it seems right that I should take a whack at this.
The smile I have on my face right now just thinking about that shirt means that this is most definitely the right time to introduce this dream to reality.
Here we go ...