Crunchy, colorful leaves.
Cool nights and crisp, sunny days.
Football, pumpkins, scarves and boots.
And, if you're a runner like Super Squad ambassador Gina Middaugh, fall means one thing: foliage-lined trail nirvana.
Gina recently completed her second consecutive Squamish 50/50, a grueling trail race that covers 50 miles on day 1 and then follows that up with 50 kilometers more on day 2. We caught up with Gina to learn more about her Squamish 50/50 experience, talk with her about what's up next and get her advice for newbie runners who'd like to start hitting those leaf-covered trails this fall.
Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see Gina's favorite fall Superfeet Footwear pick, for the life she lives between trail runs.
Congrats on completing your second Squamish 50/50! Tell us about your motivation for undertaking such a tough race two years in a row. And, a bonus question: will you be back for year three?
Thank you! Great question because sometime during the middle of day one, as I running the 50 miler and not feeling so great, I thought to myself, "why oh WHY did I sign up for another 50/50?" I have to laugh at this now, but there is always some point in every hard race I've done where I've questioned my sanity. In the end, knowing I've pushed past those fears and doubts is the biggest sense of accomplishment. It's not the medal, or the hat (which you only receive for doing a 50/50), it's the finish to a long journey. Year three? Hmmm ... I did say never again, but since I'm the only female to ever earn the green hat (for year two of running the 50/50), I'd be the only female to possibly earn the yellow hat. And, yellow is my favorite color. ;)
What’s a typical training week look like for you?
I run every day. Literally, every single day. I started a run streak of running at least one mile every single day on December 29, 2015 and haven't stopped. That being said, I do take "rest" days which are 10-20 minutes of really easy slow running. My typical week looks like this:
Monday : Rest day = 20 minutes
Tuesday: 30 minutes
Wednesday: 45 minutes with speed/hills
Thursday: 20-30 minutes
Friday: 20 minutes
Saturday: Long run days ... usually 3 - 4 hours in length
Sunday: Another long run ... usually 1.5 - 2 hours
What’s your advice to people who want to make the jump from road running to trail running?
Take the jump! Just do it. Find an easy trail, maybe 2-4 miles and go for a run. Slowly build up from there. The more you adventure away from the road and go looking for mountains to climb, streams to cross, wooden bridges, and single track trails, the more you will fall in love with this sport. There is nothing quite like trail running!
Tell us one non-running thing you’re looking forward to this year.
Ohhhh boy. This should be a bonus question because typically all of my trips and adventures are centered around running and/or races. I am looking forward to traveling overseas to Italy at some point in 2018. Haven't quite nailed down a date, but that is a bucket list trip!
What’s up next on your race calendar?
Javelina 100 will be my 3rd 100 mile race and it's held October 28/29, 2017. A few shorter races between now and then, but that's the biggie!
Click to shop Gina's favorite Superfeet Footwear style for fall, the Juniper:
Thanks Gina! Be sure to follow Gina on Instagram for jaw-dropping images and lots of trail running inspo to help you get out the door this fall.