2012 goals and stuff like that
I remember sitting down to write out my goals for last year and having so many that I had to break them up into two separate posts. There were the intangible goals that really could have been summed up as, “there is more to training than just running, do the other stuff too.” And then there were very specific time goals, from one mile up to half marathon. It didn’t go and longer because at the start of the year I had no intention on running even a marathon, let alone an ultra. I was much more wrapped up in hitting a certain time at a certain distance, basically looking for races to serve as time trials, than I was on things like competition or, well, basically anything else having to do with running. And as I mentioned previously, I wasn’t actually very successful in achieving those goals. But it WAS a fairly successful year anyway.
Thinking about my goals for 2012, I feel quite a bit different than I did at the start of last year. For one, I am not nearly as obsessed with time goals. Obviously I want to get faster. Last year was the first year since I started running that I was actually consistent more than I wasn’t. And healthy more than I wasn’t. And the improvements were less about getting faster and more about my ability to turn it pretty good races much more frequently. And run a lot longer than I thought I would be doing yet. It was a decent start. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that at some point this year I’d like to run a mile in less than 5 minutes. Or finally break 17 for a 5k. If I manage to stay healthy, I’m pretty sure I will at some point, but that sort of stuff will have to wait.
I think my primary goal for the first seven months of the year will be to survive really. I’ve set a fairly ambitious and possibly foolhardy plan in place through mid-July. It starts next Saturday with the Weymouth Woods 100k. For being one week out from running 12+ miles more than I ever have in my life, I’m not feeling much stress. That’s probably because I’m treating it more as a long run and a way to figure out logistics for Umstead than as a race race. March 31st is the Umstead 100 which will be my first 100 miler. I’m somewhere around 40th on the Massanutten wait list, a race known to be one of the hardest hundred milers on the east coast, and one that attracts quite a few REALLY good ultrarunners. If I get in, and it seems likely based on past years, that will be by the most challenging race I’ll have attempted to date. In the middle of July, I’m running my first 24 hour race, the BOMF 20in24 Lone Ranger Ultramarathon in Philadelphia. So to recap, a 100k, two 100 milers, and a 24 hour race. Thus, the goal of survival. I’m sure I will also learn a considerable amount more, suffer a considerable amount more, and hopefully have a considerable amount of fun in the process.
But if I try to come up with more specific goals, I find myself struggling. I’m going to be running races and distances that I’ve never done before. I’m not sure how my body will respond and when it comes to most ultras, distance is a relative term. One hundred miles at Umstead is not nearly the same as one hundred miles at Massanutten. The longest, time-wise, I’ve ever run for is less than eight hours which is only 1/3rd the amount of time as the 24 hour race in July. Time goals (and distance goals for Philly) seem silly to come up with for these races, especially still so far out. So I will say instead that for these, and the entire year really, I want to run smart races more than anything. I want to be competitive if it’s possible and I want, more than anything, to finish each and every race confident that I ran as well as I possibly could have. It sounds corny and I’d roll my eyes at it if I weren’t me and reading that but it’s true. If I relax, run smart, dig deep, and run the best race I can, the times and all that will take care of themselves.
There are some little goals too – I’d like to run a race or two back in Baltimore, just because I do miss the city, and more importantly people like Johnny. I’d like to do well at some of the races I ran last year that I’ll be repeating (like Finger Lakes, although I’m running at least 50k this year instead of the 25k, the Triple Lakes 40, and possibly Stone Cat again). I want to blog here a bit more regularly, and write less… formally sounding. I read back over a lot of old entries and I noticed I sound a bit like a somewhat vanilla version of myself. Not that I’m dishonest with what I write or anything, just that I’m a bit boring, at least to myself. Of course I also want to recommit myself to “doing the other things that make up training” which includes weights (specifically squats) at least once a week, getting enough rest, losing a few (or a few more than a few) pounds, eating more vegetables, blah blah blah. I think I alluded to my biggest goal for this year in my last post. I want to be sitting down to write up my 2012 recap in twelve months and I want to be able to write about how THIS was far and away my best year of running ever and yet still have room for better.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.
Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!
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