Friday, September 16, 2011

Goal Update

I'm starting to get some clarity on my goals. The key was to break the goals down by duration, specifically short/medium and long term. I've been back and forth in my mind many times (surprise, surprise!) over the past few months trying to decide what I should be doing. And finally, when reading a fellow blogger's interview with Nick Clark, it hit me:  it's not that I don't want to train for a marathon, it's that I need a fresh approach to training. Planning and then executing on that plan is always worthwhile in any goal you set. In fact, when I reflect on my Summer, my proudest achievement is the constant focus to follow one goal and stick with my plan. With that, here are my goals:


As you already know, I have the Lead King Loop race coming up this weekend. I don't have a specific goal for the race.  However, I do plan to give it a hard effort. When racing this type of event it is difficult to predict finish times and it often becomes you versus the course. Depending on the depth of the field, I have a chance to bang out a top 25 finish (or higher).


I am finally going to let my mind embrace the idea of training to "race" a marathon. Frankly, I still haven't really done this yet.  Perhaps I'm just scared to put myself out there and let it hang out. To date I have completed 5 marathons, but I'd be hard pressed to say I have raced any of them. When I ran Denver RnR (2009 and 2010), the goal was really to gain enough fitness and lose enough weight to complete it under four hours.  Both the Colfax Marathon and Steamboat Marathon this year were meant to be training runs on my path to the Leadville Silver Rush 50. I suppose the closest I've come to a race was the Leadville Marathon in July. I gave an all-out effort that day -- in fact I wonder if it hurt my chances for a strong(er) Silver Rush 50 only two weeks later -- but it's hard to compare a road marathon and a trail marathon.

The goal for the Las Vegas RnR marathon on (December 4th) is sub-3:25. My current road marathon PR is 3:34:18 at Steamboat Springs. My last four mile splits were my fastest of the race (average of 7:27 per mile) because I was running above my marathon pace while pacing a friend early in the race. Clearly I left gas in the tank. During my speed work training all Summer I have been using 3:25 as my marathon pace and I have been able to complete all of those workouts.  And, according to this altitude calculator, the drop of nearly 4,000 feet in elevation should help my chances as well.  What's more, my performance at the GTIS half marathon suggested it is possible.

So how am I going to get there? The good news is that I have plenty of miles and a solid (almost 50 mile per week) base to jump into the middle of most any plan. Most likely I will follow a Pfitz 18/55 plan as a guide with some modifications that suit me (or just to entertain me). In particular, I'd like to try some longer interval runs as were suggested in the interview with Nick Clark. If the opportunity comes up, I will certainly still trail run. I am going to have to accept mid-week MLRs: drink some Red Bull and quit whinning!

Now that the goal is out there, help me achieve it by keeping me accountable!


As for long term goals, I think those are still being flushed out a little bit and the situation is somewhat fluid.  I know this much, I probably need one more Summer to get Leadville out of my system.  For some reason I still feel like I have unfinished business there. While I'm not sure it mattered, being sick the week of the race left a lot of unanswered questions. Plus I was just a rookie. And while I don't know that it is the wisest idea, the LT 100 is almost too tempting to pass up. I project as a 26 hour finisher (easily below the 30 hour time limit). In fact, if I was willing to accept the risks (see DNF), it's not out of the question that I could aim for the big buckle and a sub-25 hour finish. Trying for that would definitely not be the wisest idea.

The other idea being kicked around would be to run the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim. It's a 47.5 mile run with roughly 12.5K of climbing.  While technically it would be an unsupported, non-race event, there is water at various camp grounds along the way.  It is reasonable that I could do this run in 11 - 14 hours depending on how hard I wanted to push it.  Due to the weather, this would most likely take place early in May as a training event for Leadville.  Again, it's fluid and will most likely change.

So those are my current thoughts on goals.  I promise that only the long term goals may change.  Leadville 100 registration opens in late November and usually fills by early January, so that is the next logical point to evaluate my long term goals.

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