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First Ultra of The Year

I'm headed up to Westminster, MD to run the Hashawha Hills 50K tomorrow.

I enjoyed this race last year even on a very bare minimum of training. It was a symbolic comeback from my back injury. It was a runnable course, two loops, with typical late February elements: ice, snow, mud, and stream crossings. The wonder of compression tights was revealed to me as the miles rolled by and my legs kept moving long after I expected them to refuse to continue.

Runners cross a field on the Hashawha Hills 50K course in 2011. Photo by Alan Gowen.
I'm looking forward to running this race again. I say "running" because I'm not in racing shape. I'm okay with that. The first ultra of the year for me means:
  • kicking myself in the pants
  • getting back in the groove of running for hours on trails
  • pushing the pace
  • managing my calorie intake  
  • most important, getting my mental game in order

I'm hoping to PR. This is based solely on the fact that the course will be in better shape and compared to last year, I am too. 

I'm also curious to see this course again. Based on the buds and blooms here in DC, I'm guessing it will look a little more green this time. Winter, we hardly knew ye.

Hashawha Hills course in snowy 2008. Photo by Alan Gowen.

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