Pr's and course pr's.
Pretty simple plan huh?
Yes, call me crazy. Go ahead. All lot of people have and the rest are thinking it I'm sure but it hasn't stopped me yet. See, the goal for the next 10 months (no plans beyond next April so far) is to either run a personal record time for each distance or a personal best time for each particular course. An ambitious goal to be sure but I am confident that as long as the body will hold up I will be able to accomplish these goals.
It has been said that running ultra's is 90% mental and the other 10% is mental and I am totally mental so I should have it in the bag. I just have to show up and run. No, seriously I feel that I am physically prepared to be successful going forward as long as I am able to stay healthy and focus my training on each upcoming event.( and the weather cooperates). I look forward to the challenge and as always I like to put it out there for all to see as it helps to motivate me to succeed. Having all my family,friends and followers behind me helps to make the effort worthwhile in success or failure.
Other than I love taking on the challenge and having goal oriented training, there is another reason why I intend to make this a big year. Time. Yes time is catching up with me and I have accepted the reality that I will not be able to achieve pr's much longer at any distance. Don't get me wrong. I do not intend to quit training hard and try my best after this experience over the next 10 months but it is just a fact that I cannot continue to improve much more at age 55. Although I have had an amazing year including a 50k pr last January at age 54 I can tell a big difference from just 5 years ago. I have trained more miles and just as hard as ever only to basically stay at the same level and it's not getting any easier.
Over the next several months I will be changing the focus of my training from a marathon type program to more ultra specific workouts. One of the main things I need to work on is my speed and strength power walking up long steep hills. That is one component that I have not needed or used for the past 3 years and it shows. Success in the mountain ultra's is dependent on a strong hike and even running a fast time at Umstead requires it. I will still be doing some types of tempo running and occasional mile repeats to maintain speed but the focus now is on mileage, time on feet and race specific workouts.
First up is the Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie 50 mile in just 3 weeks. I hope to deny the definition of insanity by not only once again going for a course pr but an overall 50 mile pr at this one. Not much in the way of training I can do for this one now. I'm in shape to make the attempt but the weather will play a role in the success.
Tahoe Rim 100 is a first for me and probably will be among the toughest things I've ever done. So just finishing will be a course pr !
Iron Mountain 50 miler is another first time and so another course pr just finishing.
By the time Hinson Lake 24 Hour rolls around I hope to really be back in ultra shape because I will have to be to top my 2006 performance of 103.3. miles
I look forward to returning to Mountain Masochist in November and go for a course pr there. It is one of my favorite races and one of the inspirations for getting me into the sport.
I hope to recover enough over the following three weeks to go for another 50k pr at Derby. It has worked in the past and I have set my 50k pr there several times although my current pr is at the Frosty Fifty.
In January i will do my first Weymouth Woods 100k for a course pr but I will also be going for a distance pr there. If I just finish that should happen because my only other two 100k's were on extremely hard mountain courses.
In February I return to Holiday Lake 50k++, the site of my first ultra. They have changed the course I believe since my last time there so I just hope to have an event pr.
And this whole plan leads up to a big pr attempt at the 100 mile distance next March at the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run. They should be prepared with TV camera's because it will either being an amazing story and finish or a really big crash and burn.
But right now I gotta go run. Stay tuned