I know I have not directly stated my 2015 goals yet, I had a few things I was trying to clear up in my schedule before committing them to my blog. Initially I had planned to cash in a free race entry for a race out in Portland, but recent job instability has led me to moving this for next year. With that in mind I am now focused on this years big goal… I want to get my 50k completion time down to nine to ten hours from the current eleven and a half hour time. I have decided this year I want to focus on that single goal and put everything into that goal. Of course I do not believe in setting a goal without setting up a plan and a deadline. This goal though will take up the entire year and so I figured the end test of results will come with a second running of the Tortoise and the Hare 50k ultra, which was my first race over a half marathon last year (details here).
Of course that is the long term goal for the year. To gauge my progress through the year I have defined a few ultra races, most of them in the 50k distance. My goal in these races is just to see where I am currently at and to work on the specifics of racing. I have decided this year to forgo triathlons and focus more of my time trail and ultra distance running. One interesting challenge I have set for myself this year is to push my limits beyond 33 miles. I decided that I wanted to try a 24 hour endurance race. The format of these races is basically running a set distance circular trail for the allotted time, stopping as needed, basically running as many laps as possible in the allotted time. I figured this would provide a good opportunity to push my distance a bit.
2015 Goals And Big Ideas
- Reduce my Tortoise and Hare finishing time from eleven hours and thirty minutes to nine to ten hours.
- I had 1270 miles of running with a mix of biking and swimming. This year its all about the run so I am shooting for around 200 miles a month with a desired total of 2,000 miles for the year. This is part of my speed improvement plan… increase my mileage safely.
- 200,000 feet of elevation gain. In 2014 I started to track this number as technical trail ultras are all about the elevation. I ran nearly 114,000 feet last year and I figure I can really push this number this year.
- Need to focus heavily on stretching and Pilates to isolate IT band issues. I let this fall by the wayside last year and I paid for it with major issues during my 50k.
- Run for time instead of distance in one race – run for 24 hours. I have this race lined up and ready to go!!!
- 250 pounds! I want to get my weight below 275 pounds but first I need to loose December’s weight and get back to 275.
- Run a few fun 5ks and enjoy pancakes with my non-ultra friends.
- Work on cross training by continuing with spin classes and cycling.
- Continue to work on my open water swim skills.
- Complete the full Mystery Mountain Marathon
In December I had to take a couple of weeks off to heal up a non-running injury. During this time my weight sky rocketed from the low 270’s I was at during the previous month to a total of 296 pounds. At the end of the month I was cleared for running again and thus I set my new plan into motion: get faster at running longer distances. One of the Key components of this plan meant I had to seriously look at my diet and drop the added weight and continue to loose past the 270 pound mark. The challenge that presented itself though lied in the increased volume of running I was looking at. I knew I would need fuel to support these longer running weeks and back to back long runs. But carbs are considered bad and calories in excess dangerous to loosing weight. So I ignored everyone around me and grabbed a copy of Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald and put his plan in motion. Basically eating healthier choices, eating denser carbs earlier in the day and more fruits and vegitables. One key concept in his book is to not ignore carbs and to fuel the body appropriately for the honest level of activitiy. Since I started this diet, mixed with two weeks of running 40 miles, one at 54 miles and one week of running 62 miles I have now dropped down to 282 and I feel great.
2015 Looks like it should be a fun year. After three years of running and triathlons and other fitness activities I feel like I have discovered my niche in distance technical trail running. While I enjoy cycling and will definately get some rides in this year, I just do not enjoy it enough to do it after swimming and before running, I would rather go run trails in the woods. So this year I am going to focus on being a slow runner and improving on running tough technical trails. I will continue to work at cycling and swimming just for enjoyment but not for triathlons. I am really excited by this years goals and race schedule and I am excited to share the continuation of this crazy journey I have been on since I typed my first hesitant blog post a few years ago with the crazy dream of finishing a 5k and a few triathlons. It has been a great journey with promisses of more to come. Til next time.