A GOOD OMEN by Nick Arndt

As Fall approaches, I naturally get excited about leaves, campfires, hoodies, 50-degree weather, NFL football, and, of course, the bulk of the Fall running season. This Fall, among other things, I have something else to be extra excited about: the Cubs are going to be Playoff bound for the first time since 2008. Every true Cub fan knows how precious this season has been and what pure joy it has been to witness.

I am no longer enrolled at Valpo University. I decided to come home to New Carlisle and refocus my journey. With that being said, it has ended my official collegiate cross country and track journey, although it’s been a struggle ever since I started in the Fall of 2013, due mainly to injuries and poor focus.

My goals have changed drastically. Throughout this entire summer, I have been unintentionally attracted to the life of professional ultra-mountain-trail runners who race from 50k to 100 miles in the mountains. Anton Krupicka (among others) has been my biggest inspiration and influence. I have decided to use running, cycling, hiking, and strength work to become an ultra runner to the best of my capabilities. Training will be long, hard, diverse, thought-out, and, much to my desire, alone. I have the freedom to be my own coach throughout this process.

My excitement lies in the process itself, the day-to-day grind, following my own schedule. I’ll be waking up at 5:30am to train every day in the dark as the sun rises. The late morning and early afternoon will soon consist of “teaching” elementary and middle school students at NP’s “after school programs.”

If my training works out the way I plan, I hope to achieve some sort of support or sponsorship from a running shoe/apparel company and, ultimately, become a professional. Those are huge goals but I have never been more excited about any process as I am for this one.

My first ultra will be a 50K or 50-miler in LaGrange, Wisconsin, in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest, during the Ice Age Trail 50. It was ranked the 7th most competitive ultra marathon in the United States by Ultrarunning Magazine in 2014. Bend, Oregon’s Max King set the course record in 5h 41m in 2014. Max was 6th place at the US Outdoor Nationals Track and Field meet in the steeplechase, boasting a PR of 8:33 in the event. He has multiple ultra course records and has run sub 2:15 for the marathon. Many other pros have also competed at Ice Age in the past. Race day is set for Saturday, May 14, 2016.

It will be my first ultra and I’ve never been more excited. However, the total cost of everything will be a couple hundred bucks (hotel, fuel, fees, etc.). I really thrive on daily consistent hard work, preparing on the trails and roads, either on foot or on my “Old Ass Trek.”

With all that said, dealing with running, school, and work is just life and I find satisfaction in the whole process!

Thanks for reading about my current life and I hope this find you all doing well! Go catch yo dream.


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