It's only eight days into 2018 and my race calendar is already filled up for the year. 2017 was an amazing for me as a runner. I ran my first marathon (and second and third) and I entered the world of trail and ultra running.
What else could a relatively new runner want?
That's an easy answer, a set of goals for the year so I'm not just signing up for every race that catches my fancy. With that in mind I have two major goals for 2018, one of them is a non-objective goal and the other is multi-part and is a racing/objective goal
Non-Objective goal: Master Hill Climbing:
Hills have long been my nemesis so, when coach Jake suggested that I have a non-objective goal, to go along with my objective race goals, and recommended mastering hill climbing, I knew that's what I wanted to do. This will be a love/hate goal for me. I love the feeling of conquering hills, but I hate the trudging I do to get to the top. Throughout 2018, my goal is to increase the amount of running I do on uphills and to learn and master techniques for getting me to the top faster and in better shape.
Racing goal: Run FOUR ultra length races:
- END-SURE 50k: As much as an ultramarathon can be, this race is something of a side goal. I added it at the suggestion of my friend Andy. It fits well in my training schedule for Zumbro, so it will end up being more of a training run, than a race for me. That said, the Sandhills Ultra looks like a great and fun race. Running on the North Country Trail in Eastern North Dakota, I'll be racing through open prarie with pockets of prairie and "enough rolling 'sandhills' to keep the race interesting." It's a flat course, with something like 400 feet of total elevation over the course, so this should provide for some fast and fun trail running!
- Zumbro Endurance Race 100 Mile: This is a BIG one for me, Zumbro is one of my two "A" races for 2018. Going for 100 miles is a big jump. Wild Duluth was "only" 62 miles. Going for 100 ensures that I will be running/racing for more than a day through the bluff country of the Zumbro River Bottoms. As with Curnow, Wild Duluth 100k and END-SURE, My friend Andy suggested Zumbro to me or, rather, encouraged me when I told him I was thinking of going for the 100. I'm really looking forward to testing myself against nature and my own limits, when I face Zumbro 100! Goals for Zumbro: A) Finish Sub-30 B) Finish Sub-32 C) Just finish the darn thing and not want to quit running
- Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile: Curnow was Hell on Earth for me, so how do I top that? Run that course twice, back to back! Curnow was literally the Voyageur course one way, plus 1.2 miles. I've run the second half of this course and it kicked my butt. It wasn't really even on my radar, but coach Jake recommended it as number four for my goal of running 4 ultras, so I decided to put aside my hate of heat and those dang powerline hills and just go for it. Goal for Voyageur: Finish the race under the 14 hour cut off and still be in good enough condition to keep training for Superior
- Super Fall 50 Mile:* Superior is my second "A" race for 2018. I LOVE the Minnesota North Shore, so there was no way that I was NOT going to run one of the fall races. Since the 100 mile starts on the first Friday of the school year, that race was not an option (at least for 2018...) . The 50, however, running on the Saturday only, made for a more appealing option. There's just something amazing about the Superior hiking Trail, and the thought of running and racing on it spoke to my soul, and my summers as a kid camping on the North Shore. I HAD to run it. Goals for Superior: A) Finish Sub-14 B) Finish Sub-15 C) Just finish the thing and be happy I could do such a thing.
*As of now, my name is in the entry list for the Superior lottery,which closes on 1/15/18. Hopefully I'll be updating this post with the happy news that I got in.