Sometimes you carefully plan things out and sometimes you don't. The decision to enter McNaughton would be one of the latter ones and here is my explanation why.
I struggled all winter long in getting my runs in, I didn't start out that way but I quickly got there as the darkness, cold and snow descended. I had entered December full of goals, better said would be wishes, as if there is no action than it is a wish. If there is action then it is a goal. I read that somewhere just recently and it made sense. I had a focus of running well at Chippewa, then the race was canceled and I lost my focus. Now in fairness to Chippewa there are a number of events that I could have substituted for it instead but I failed to do so and it just took something away. Chippewa was easy, it's almost local, it was my first ultra event, I had done it both years and I had wanted to do it well this year. So I just drifted through December and January with no plan, then it came back in early February and I tried to regain my zeal but it didn't happen, the race was moved up two weeks and I languished in the thought of running in snow.
So as I headed into the first deadline to enter Chippewa I punted. I decided to wait and make sure the snow was going to be gone. Meanwhile, Wayne and Karen had started to lobby about McNaughton and they started to catch my attention. So now that I have bored you with the background info, what is the explanation for doing McNaughton?
It just sounded like it would be good idea (yes, I may have been influenced by Wayne and Karen). It would get Illinois off of my list, it is another 50 mile event, it is a 10 mile loop course where I will be running with folks running 100 miles. So it will get me some knowledge of what that means. I have never attended an event with 100 milers and this will put me right into the middle of the event. In my original plan I thought I would volunteer at Zumbro 100 (April 9 & 10) to get this experience and then run two weeks later at Chippewa. It also breaks my Chippewa streak so in the future I can just run that for enjoyment not because of a streak. I do know I will miss it this year and will pencil it on for next year.
So I signed up on Monday, then I checked the course, note to self before you sign up for a 50 mile event, check the course, verify your training and think very carefully about it.
I of course did none of these so it looks like I will be going into a moderately hard course, under trained but with plenty of time to finish. So the plan will be to take my time, not get injured, enjoy myself and learn a whole bunch.
On a lighter note, here is the first available weather forecast from Accuweather.com for McNaughton.