Last year I said I would ease back on racing and train more. Didn't quite work out. So this year I am throwing that out the window and just planning to race as much as I can!
As you see from the updated sidebar it is quite a list. I have no doubt I'll 'put it all out there' in most if not all events but certainly many will be more like training runs. I have a few 'key' races that I want to be well trained for - Miwok 100K, Afton 50K, Superior 50M and Hellgate 100K. But I'm putting goal times down for all events. I'm sure I'll change my mind several times between now and race day as I start to research a few of the races new to me. But I'm usually a bit coy about goal times and figure it's time for a new approach: put it on the blog and try to stick with it!
So here goes...
Psycho Wyco 50K (KS) - sub 6
I know that sounds like sand-bagging for a 50K but check out the past results. And this year will be no different in terms of challenging terrain - mud is the new snow. I am not confident of beating Dr. Nic despite the favourable odds being quoted by Matt though it would be sweet given that he'll soon be slow and fat (upon arrival of Lil' G) and it wouldn't be fair to gloat about beating him then.
Way Too Cool 50K (CA) - 4:45
I have no idea how this stacks up against others but I read in UR that the course is rated 2-3 in terms of difficulty so I figure for an early spring race on a relatively kind course it's a decent goal.
Bull Run 50M (VA) - 8:30
This is probably pushing it a bit but I'd like to get in a very solid run ahead of Miwok. The course looks interesting - a real mix of terrain. Some out-and-back and loops sections. Not my typical course but I do like to race in Virgina and it's organized by the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club so it has to be a good race!
Miwok 100K (CA) -
And a top 10 finish while I'm at it. I don't ask for much. Kami Semick won this race the past 2 years. 2008 was the muddy year and I can't recall what her time was but last year she was just over 9 hours. Incredible. But then she is in a different class. Representing the US on the 100K team and running some amazing times at 42 years of age no less.
Superior 50K (MN) - 4:45
And a complimentary goal of beating Steve. He started it! Check out the poll on his blog. I'm assuming he'll come up with a prize for the winner of this battle also. Though I may have to wait until the Fall races to collect on it. Confident aren't I? One battle I won't be winning is the CR one. Eve ran 4:32 on this course in 2007. Even if it wasn't 2 weeks after Miwok I can't see myself doing that kind of time on this course. Maybe sub-4:40.
Bighorn 50M (WY) - 10:00
It's ambitious - by at least 30 minutes - Kim Holak ran 10:40 there last year and she was in good shape, getting ready for Hardrock. But I figure 10 hours in a nice round number... I won't be too disappointed if I don't make it. Darcy Africa is running it - she holds the record of 9:04! Would be awesome to see her go for sub-9. I guess another way of looking at my goal is to be within an hour of the winner. Speaking of records, the men's is 7:43 set by Charles Hubbard back in the day. No one has gone close. Sort of like Scott Jurek's record at Voyageur. Though I imagine Big Horn draws a lot more competition from around the country.
Afton 50K - 4:30 (MN)
I'm doing it this year! Enough said.
Where's Waldo 100K (OR) - 12:00
I haven't registered for this race yet (opens March 1) but I hear it is not too difficult to get into and I've been wanting to run again in the Pacific NW AND my good friend Carrie moved to Portland last year... I have to do it! Carrie - in case you are reading this, heads up on a visitor :) The 2009 times are quite a bit slower than Miwok (by the same women) so I'll go with a 12hr goal - and if I fail miserably in CA perhaps I'll rethink this one...
Superior 50M (MN) - 10:00
A half hour behind Duke's 2009 time. Yeah, this is one of those goals that will get revised upwards closer to the time. But it's only February so I'm feeling ever so confident that I'll do so much brilliant training (in between all this racing) and will be in extremly good shape for this race.
Twin Cities 26.2M (MN) - 3:12
I am still sort of in shock that I signed up for this. But I did. So I may aswell try to PR. I will have to take some of whatever Brian P was on last Fall - after running sub-10 at Superior he ran a sub-3hr marathon (big PR) 3 weeks later. Nice! And/or I'll ask Joe Z to pace me :)
Wild Duluth 100K (MN) - 12:00
This seems like a reasonable goal on a tough course. But again, makes me think 11 hours is awfully ambitious for Miwok. Never mind 10:30...
Hellgate 100K (VA) - 13:10
I ran 13:25 in December - feels like another lifetime not just 2 months ago! I think the CR is 13:01 or something like that. I suppose really that might be my goal. But come race day I will be more like - I just want to run 1 second faster than last year! Of course, with this race, more so than many others, the course and weather conditions are a huge factor. Also, as well as the midnight start, it's worth noting that it's 4 miles longer than the other 100K races.
Apart from a lot of racing, that's a lot of traveling too. No, I haven't come into an inheritance lately. But I figure, I love to travel and meet new runners, there are no college funds to plan for... and I can put off the, ahem, retirement planning, for at least another year. Or ten.
First race of the year is days away... bring it on!