If you scroll down this page a little bit, you’ll see a box that reads “On the docket”. It’s where I usually list my upcoming races. For the first time in years, it’s completely empty — I don’t have a single race planned. (UPDATE 10/2: Just registered for Summit Rock yesterday!) This is partially due to being extremely cautious as I come back from a weirdly ambiguous hip/back injury, but also because I’ve been trying to decide what my goals are for next 6-12 months. If you had asked me 2 months ago, I would’ve said I’d really like to focus on running a fast road marathon ASAP. I really do feel like I’m capable of a big marathon PR, I just need the right course. Throughout July and August, as I slowly started to run again, I kept wondering if I should sign up for CIM before it sold out and if I had enough time to train. Then I snapped out of my fantasy world and decided that I needed to be 100% healthy before I start any kind of marathon training.
My next irrational impulse was to sign up for a fall/winter trail marathon. That was one of my major goals for 2014 as a stepping stone toward the 50K distance. Thankfully, my logical side took over once again and and reasoned that if I can’t even run a flat road marathon, then what am I doing signing up for a trail marathon? Ridiculous!
Then, I accepted a new job, which will require me to switch from a part-time to full-time work schedule. I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I hadn’t given into any of my impulses to sign up for a big fall race. It’ll be hard enough to juggle a new job with much longer hours, let alone worry about marathon training. Rest assured, I’ll keep running, but I’m relieved not to have to adhere to any specific weekly mileage or workouts. One less thing to stress about.
That said, I do like to have races on the calendar to keep the motivation train going. This post is more or less a rambling diatribe of the races I’m considering and the goals floating around in my head for 2015.
For 2015, my goal is to run a 50K. There, I said it (finally). I’ve been really intrigued by ultramarathons for a long time and I think it’s time to take the plunge. Currently, I’m eyeing the Way Too Cool 50K (Auburn, CA; March), Skyline 50K (Castro Valley, CA; August), and North Face Endurance Challenge 50K (Golden Gate Recreational Area, CA; December). I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to train for WTC, but since there’s a lottery and it’s difficult to get in, my bet is that Skyline or NFEC will be my first 50K.
Although the motivation is there, the truth of the matter is that I haven’t been running a whole lot of trail miles in the last 4 months. My last long trail run was in May and marked the beginning of the ambiguous traveling injury. Until last week, I stuck to running fairly flat trails or trails with small rollers. I’ve done a few hilly hikes in the past 3 months, but I always kept it strictly at walking pace so as to not re-injure myself. Finally, last Friday, I decided to take a lap around good ol’ Lake Chabot. I still walked a decent amount of the ascents to keep my heart rate low, but it was definitely faster than hiking speed. Best of all, my hips and back still felt good at the end of the 8.8 miles. #WINNING
Then, on Saturday morning, I went on a fairly strenuous, 3-mile hike/run in the Marin Headlands as part of our friends’ wedding festivities (how cool is that, by the way??). Two days later, I’m happy to report zero niggles after the back-to-back trail outings, with only my quads complaining just a little due to soreness/fatigue. With that little test in the bag, I’m ready to sign up for the Summit Rock Half Marathon in December, which several friends are running as well, so it should be a lot of fun!
In addition to all of the trail running, I’d like to pick a couple of road half marathons for 2015. The Kaiser Half seems like a good opportunity to try to PR again, especially if I’m not running WTC. Plus, I’d like to see how/if this MAF training pays off. Speaking of which, I’ve got a MAF test coming up this Saturday. These last 2 weeks were really inconsistent training-wise, mainly due to Ragnar Napa, so I’m curious to see whether I’ve improved at all since test #2.
I think that, in light of my recent injury and the upcoming new job and schedule, I need to be more focused than ever before on what my running goals are. For now, that seems to be one “A” race in 2015, the 50K, and maybe 2 half marathons.
Questions for you:
Do you only sign up for goal races, or are you a “race for fun” kind of person?
Have you run the WTC, Skyline, and/or NFEC 50K races? What did you think?