Sunday, December 16, 2012

New year, new goals

With the end of the year approaching, I've given some thought to what races or challenges I'd like to take on next year.  A few months ago after finishing the Oil Creek 100K, I would've said a 100 miler was in the plans for sure, but after the usual soreness of doing an ultra longer than 50K went away I realized that the 100 mile distance was something I neither desired nor was ready for at this point.

My IT band has hurt since the 100K and I haven't run any significant mileage since.   However if I could do Oil Creek all over again, I wouldn't change anything except maybe lift more with my legs in the months leading up to the race.  I had IT band problems last year on the other knee which seemed to linger.  I'd like to get back to running, but have enjoyed the break from it.  I've been lifting and swimming laps at the rec.  One thing I've definitely noticed from swimming in the past is that it's a great workout and a great substitute to running when injured.  I've swam for months in the past while injured and when I came back to running, I felt like I lost nothing aerobically.

So next year my main goal is to get back to running and do it consistently and get back to doing it for the pure enjoyment of it instead of getting caught up in the number of miles run.  Nothing is better than the feeling of being in top shape, not from a short two or three month training plan, but from the fitness that results from month after month of slowly building up strength and endurance.

My second goal is to get a road marathon PR.  This is something that I've wanted to do since my last PR at Cleveland in 2009.  And not getting any younger, I feel like next year is as good as any to try and break 3 hours for a marathon.  Eight minutes is a lot to cut off, but we'll see....

My third goal is to try a new race.  Something out West like Pikes Peak would be great, but even a smaller race in PA or another close state would be fine.

The last thing (at least that I can think of now) that I'd like to do next year is to camp more, either in a tent or a cabin, near trails like Mohican or the Laurel Highlands and make it into a running/hiking weekend with friends.

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