Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year - New Goals

Last month I reviewed my 2017 running goals and ruminated on my lack of success in achieving them.  My goals for 2018 are more process-oriented than performance-oriented, and are designed with my peace and happiness in mind, rather than my ultrasignup results:

1. Run with Joe at least once a week when able-bodied.  (Joe suggested I add those last 3 words as a qualifier, so I don't miss my goal if I have an injury, etc.  Very wise.)
2. Run on trails at least once a week.  2 mulligans.  (Again, Joe's suggestion, to make sure it's an achievable goal.)
3. Race a new distance/format. (e.g., 6-hour, 12-hour, last man standing)
4. Earn Cactus 500 jacket.  (For reals this time.)

I'm still considering the addition of a 5th goal:
5. Get back to running one ultra per month.

I go back and forth about this one.  When I ran one ultra per month (pretty much 2013-summer 2017, it ensured I had a good, long training run every month.  Now that I haven't been racing regularly, I haven't been doing *any* long runs.  This is bad for my conditioning, as my efforts at the Bandera 50k yesterday showed.  It was hard to realize that I couldn't conceive of doing another lap out there, when I used to run the Bandera 100k and feel good doing it.  I really want to get back in ultramarathon shape again.

On the flip side, it's easy to fall into the trap of racing too often, and losing consistency since every other week becomes either a taper week or a recovery week.  I guess the sweet spot would be doing races but not pushing so hard that I'm unable to continue running consistently the week after.  Maybe that's what I'll shoot for.  So a tentative goal #5.

Speaking of Bandera, Joe had an amazing race.  He earned 7th place overall in the USATF National Championship.  In the last stretch of the race, he passed a runner who turned out to be John Kelly -- the guy who finished Barkley last year!  We both talked to him after the race, and I had no idea who I was talking to.  Other highlights of the day included seeing Mario Mendoza breeze into the finish to clinch his hard-earned victory, getting to hang out with Travis, Paul, Rob, and so many of our friends, finishing my first race since late September (yikes!), and chatting with Myke Hermsmeyer, who took this awesome photo of Joe:
PC: Myke Hermsmeyer
Our next adventure together will be Tarawera 100k in February.  In the meantime, I'll be working on accomplishing those first couple goals.  I'm also thinking of doing the Trail Racing over Texas 54k in Tyler, TX (Run the Rose) in three weeks.  I need more long runs!