Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer races & Goals

I am thinking about the races that I have left for the summer and what goals would I like to accomplish yet this year. Actually I am doing this as my quads and knees hurt a bit too much to run today, so I decided to go ahead an post a random thought blog.

Summer races and some modest goals:

  • Afton 50k, make the cutoff of 8 hours, shoot for 7, take care of the knees
  • Turtle Trot Tri - enjoy, find last years time and beat it
  • Haulin Aspen Marathon - finish it, it's at altitude, 12 miles uphill (3500 to 6000) and then 14 miles back done
  • Grizzly Marathon - finish it, 6 days after Haulin Aspen, if recovery goes well go for time, if not enjoy the scenery, it's around 4000-5000 feet
  • Marathon or Ultra??
Do you see my dilemma, if I go for a couple more marathons can I do a 50 miler? If I go for the marathons, I will get to 10 states completed and 30+ marathons behind me. Good progress for my 50 state and 50+ marathon goals and I should be able to eventually get a better time. All I want to do is get back under 5 hours, under 200 lbs and then to continue to get back speed and to finally get to that sub 4 race but first sub 5. Am I asking too much, I think not. When I look at the things I haven't done this year, I have a lot to improve on. I have not followed any training program other than run when I can and sprinkle in some longish runs. I have not pushed myself in training, why not that is a good question, is it fear of realizing just how much speed I have lost, maybe. I am still of the belief it isn't my age but my weight and training and will continue that belief until I either get the weight done or actually train. It's great living in my reality and who knows it may be a real one :-)

With regards to ultras, I think I might enjoy them more then marathons and there are a lot of them within a few hundred miles. Better on the pocketbook but what about my marathon goals?

I was reading another blog today called Minnesota Ramblings written by Steve Grabowski that I found from a link on Steve Quick's Run, Race, Repeat blog, Steve's is one of my favorites, it is so well written.

Anyway, it's enjoyable to find a blog that I haven't read and then to catch up on the thoughts of the blogger. A couple interesting things caught my eye, first the blogger lives in the south metro and is an engineer, probably a mechanical as he refers to Solidworks. He also shares his own ultra calculator spreadsheet, since I was working on one myself yesterday, it was definitely worth a look. He added in calorie burning which I have ignored, mainly because I have gotten sick or queasy at so many events that I don't care to know about fueling. If I ever eat a gu again in a race, I think I would be nuts. But my problem is if I go beyond marathon distances, fueling will be an issue. It might be for marathons too but I am able to work through them. Ok, maybe that is part of my problem leading to my times, since I am running marathons in the times most runners, run a 50k.

Another of his blogs that caught my attention was a post talking about the personalities of ultrarunners, I had read it in Ultrarunner magazine but didn't really think about it then. When I read it in Steve G's blog, it caught my attention. Why because a few weeks back, I had posted about why I run, which led me into why I love trails and darned if I don't describe myself just like the description of the "The Mystic Introvert ". I run alone, will talk with people but prefer not to, race only to be able to confront my inner self and would prefer to race alone which is another reason I liked M2M. If I don't race, I usually don't challenge myself but races force me to do so even to where I will tolerate the crowd. I also have traits of many of the others as well but so do most ultra runners. Does this make me an ultra runner? I relate to this group more than marathoners but I still need to get a 50 miler in to consider myself one.

Ok, back to what should I do this fall? Marathon, Ultra or try to do both? The ultra I have in mind is the Glacier Trail 50. Marathons would depend on family plans as I could do Illinois, Kansas, Michigan or head back home to Indiana.

My current list of possibilites?
September 6th: Superior Trail 50 mile (MN)
- It sounds tough for my first 50
September 21st: Rock Cut 50k (IL)
- Not sure if it still exists but would qualify as a state
September 28th: Quad Cities Marathon (IL)
- Might have family conflict
October 12th: Glacial Trail 50M (WI)
- Lot's of appeal if I go for a 50
October 18th: Big Woods 1/2 (MN)
- Fall back as I love running in Big Woods
Ocotber 19th: Grand Rapids Marathon (MI)
- Other Michigan events interest me more
October 26th: Rock Creek Trail 50k (KS)
- Has some appeal, might happen, great trail choices in Kansas
November 16th: Gobbler Grind Marathon (KS)?
- A road marathon, see previous
December 6th: Tecumseh Trail Marathon (IN)
- Pretty much where I grew up, it will be an event I do, unless I go for Dances with Dirt in Gnaw Bone which offers 50k and 50M and is even closer to where I grew up.

Anyway, it's good to have options and even better to have time to plan and to work the details.

If anyone reads this and has an opinion on any of the above races feel free to drop me a note at or post a comment.

I will be back to running tomorrow (maybe) if I can make/find/take the time, another advantage of having no plan, I always have flexibility as I can't miss a run that wasn't actually planned.......................


Don Kern said...

Hey--the Grand Rapids Marathon is on the 19th!! Hope to see you there!

and the adventure continues....

RunWesty said...

Don - thanks for noticing my date error on your marathon, my post and considerations are corrected.

I loved reading about your seven continents adventure.


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