Monday, January 24, 2011

2011 Planning

I am trying not to look too far ahead with my racing/running plans for this year. Last year my plans all fell to pieces with a neck injury early in the Spring. In past years, injuries, work schedule changes, social/family obligations, or better offers have prevented me from doing all the things I had laid out in my long term planning. It is pretty obvious to people who know me that I am a spur of the moment kind of person. Unfortunately, in this day of the ultrarunning boom, a person has to plan ahead and enter early to get into the big events.

Another factor is that for the first time in my life, when I am making plans for myself I am also making plans for another person. In past relationships I have always made plans for fun adventures and events thinking only of myself. I would then offer to take spouse or boyfriend along if he wanted to go. Usually he didn't want to go and he didn't mind having me go off on my own. If he did decide to go, he was off fishing or visiting the bars while I ran. With Kevin things are different. Kevin supports and encourages whatever I want to do. We have only been apart for one entire night the whole time I have known him. That was at an event where we didn't feel there would be a way for him to meet me out on the trail. We worked it out the next year and I did the same event with his midnight send off and his company on the trail at the end of the event. When I run a race it is a team effort for us. Kevin has happily stood out in the cold for hours to see me for about 10 seconds as I hand off a sweaty shirt and a muddy kiss. He has stayed up all night and then driven me home from these things. He's a good sport. So now when I think about events I want to do I also think about the kinds of places that I know Kevin would enjoy. I even look to see if there are good mountain biking trails for him nearby!

With all that in mind, and with my supervisor asking for time off requests for the next eight months and my weekend and holiday work schedule engraved in stone through the rest of the year, I find myself checking out the race calendar while leafing through my 2011 planner. Some events just aren't going to happen for me due to my work schedule. Among those are two of my favorites, the Vermont 100 and the Mt Pisgah 50K. I thought about running Pineland 50K or 50 mile as my goal race for the Spring. This is a non-technical and flattish course, the type of course I suck at. I was thinking it would be good to step outside of my comfort zone. Luckily this race won't fit due to an awesome Grand Canyon Mountain Biking trip we have planned.

So what will fit for 2011? I have entered the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K to be held at Bear Mountain, New York on May 7th. This is a big race with a lot of big names on a technical course. It sounds like fun. I am also considering some of the shorter Grand Tree trail races (stepping out of that comfort zone!) And I am looking for a hundred miler late in the summer or early in the fall. Virgil Crest is the one I am leaning toward, although Grindstone would be a Hardrock qualifier for 2012.

I have never been one to run a race (or two) every weekend. There are so many other fun things to do! But I will get out to run a few this year. My training is going great and I don't want to let it go to waste!

No comments:

Post a Comment