Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Where I went, and Where I'm going.

I suppose it's that time of year where I must have the obligatory year-in-review / 2014 goals post.  I'm going to keep this running oriented, otherwise this one could just get way too long!

2013 was my first year in the ultra marathon world, and has thus changed my perspective on running altogether.  I started out with Leona Divide 50k in April, and ended with The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile Championships in San Francisco, and throughout this year, here's what I've learned from running and racing:

- Race nutrition is a fickle beast. 

- Distance is not necessarily the most important factor to consider in a race. 

- Progression comes from experience. 

- Time flies on a race course. 

- My wife is an awesome ultra crew chief.

- Training the same way everyday, will most likely yield you the same results.

- My 5 year old son is the best finish line pacer you can find. 

- You can't judge a book by it's cover, or more importantly, you can't judge an ultrarunner by his or her appearance.  

- There is always someone faster.  Accept it. 

- Trail runners are the most awesome community of individuals out there.  You always have friends at every race, even if you haven't met them yet.

And I'm sure there's many more lessons...but I have to save some intelligent and philosophical comments for future blog posts so people keep reading...

Here's some running related goals for 2014:

- Get faster. 

- Run farther.

- Make training count.

- Make training quality.

- Don't fear the road and track.

- Spend more time in the high mountains.

- Don't forget to smile.

- Make time for some adventure.  

- Give back to the trail community.  I'm sure we (the wife and I) will be volunteering at several races this year, because we believe it's the right thing to do.  You gain a different perspective from the other side of the aid station table.

- Enjoy it.  Sometimes we forget why we run.  My goal is to remember.

And here's my racing goals for 2014:

- March:  Way Too Cool 50k - Honestly, I entered the lottery for this race not expecting to get it, but I did.  Going for a 50k PR.

- May:  PCT 50 - A good, fairly local, spring 50 miler.  It's got some good uphill grind for the first half, and quad bursting downhill the second.  Should be fun.

- August:  Telluride Mountain Run - I wanted to do a big mountain race up in the San Juans, and since I don't see myself getting into Hardrock anytime in the near future, this should fill that want for me :).

- September:  Kodiak 100 - I'm going for my first 100-miler.  I chose this one for a few reasons; it's close to where I live, I can run the whole course in training before the race, I love the trails and mountains where the race is located. 

And a shout out to my new and first running coach, Ian Torrence.  I looked forward to working with him throughout the next racing season.  Remember where I said earlier that progression comes from experience?  Well if you don't have all the experience yourself, the best thing to do learn from someone who does.  Runners always say the single greatest investment you can make in your running life is a coach, so that's what I did.  And if you're going to do it, might as well get the best, right?  Right.

So there it is...some of what I learned last year, and some plans for this year.  Might there be more for 2014?  I'm sure there will...but even I might not know what that is yet!

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