Then I started flipping through an old training log of my dad's. He printed each entry in his meticulous handwriting (the product of growing up under the cruel tutelage of Catholic school nuns) and cited miles he logged prior to and through his senior year in high school. The first week in the log covered his time spent at a running camp in the woods of Wisconsin. This triggered memories of several conversations he and I had about this camp on long car rides.
Going out to the woods, running trails for a week, bonding with your fellow campers. It sounded ideal. It sounded like the memorable experience I sought for my birthday. It sounded like a job for Google.
For all intents and purposes, society now considers me an adult. With that in mind, here's tip number one when searching for a running camp: make sure you add the word "adult" into your criteria, otherwise you'll be the creepy old dude running with the high schoolers if they even let you in at all.
Once I modified my search, I came across ZAP Fitness. ZAP is a 68-acre campus that houses several elite runners. Not only do they offer a multitude of adult running camps during the summer, they have a Marathon Mini Camp on the menu.
When I found it, I was finally running injury free and trying to ramp up as much as possible for Boston. In my head, though, I was already putting myself in a NY state of mind. I thought this camp would be the perfect way to not only usher in my 30s but also kick off my healthy training schedule for my first NYC marathon.
So, I'm coming off the completion of my 400 mile base building challenge and heading to the mountains of Blowing Rock, NC.
Starting Thursday, I'll be a summer camper, clicking off the miles over woodsy trails and absorbing all the marathoning knowledge ZAP has to offer.
E-mailing with my running partner this week, we were rehashing our 400 mile journey and talking about what's to come. When camp came up, he noted, "You are truly experiencing the runner's high now, my friend."