We are a couple months into 2017 and winter is coming to an end. I’m still working to finalize my 2017 running schedule, but let’s talk about 2017 plans and goals. I’ve been running now for a little less than three years, and I’m excited for new adventures this year. I don’t really have an off season for running specifically. I don’t take months off during the winter, but my running does fluctuate based on travel, work, and family responsibilities.
Every time I go running, I feel like I learn something new: about my body, about life, about the broader world. I have a few goals for this year:
- I would like to get more consistent with weekly training miles. I’ve found that when I’ve been consistent with my daily runs (being able to run 6 days a week) my performance and ease increases. If I stick to 80% of my mileage/time are at an easy pace, then my body can take the increased mileage and I can do at least 1-2 workouts per week.
- Many of the races I’m signed up for this year have more elevation than we typically see in West Michigan. So, I’m working to increase my weekly elevation to at least 100/ft per mile. So, If I run 60 miles per week, I’d like to have at least 6,000 ft of elevation.
- I didn’t grow up racing or running track, so I don’t have any formal training or practice to fall back on. One of the most obvious areas that this deficiency plays out is in speed work. I don’t really know what I should or could be doing in terms of speed work to get faster and increase my overall VO2max limits. I’d like to find someone this year to help me figure out how to start doing proper speed work drills as well as sign up for a few 5k/10k races to test out this part of my fitness. I feel like I have massive opportunities for improvement in terms of speed, and I would like to explore this more. Who can help me?
- Something I’ve been wanted to do for a long time is adding a daily yoga practice to my fitness routine. I am totally new to yoga, but feel there are huge opportunities in terms of flexibility, stability and breath control to be learned. At the time of writing this, I’ve started using some free online yoga resources to try to figure it out and build a daily yoga practice. I’ve been doing about 30 minutes of yoga for about 10 days now. I’ve been following http://yogawithadriene.com/ who has a bunch of playlist online to follow: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene/playlists. In addition to yoga, I’ve been trying to be better about rolling out my legs each night, even if they don’t feel like they need it.
- Hopefully, following through towards goals 1-4 will help me achieve my 5th goal, which is to finish a race without significantly fading. I would like to be able to sustain the same energy level, stamina, and speed at the end of 50M or 100K that I do throughout. I seem to fade at the end of the race and can’t seemed to sustain the same level of intensity and effort as the race progresses.
- Finally, I’d like to keep finding ways to have fun running outside of races, which means solo adventures and running adventures with friends. This might be a personal solo challenge or even just a long run with friends, or with the West Michigan Trail Runners. I’ve done some of this already, but I have a couple things in mind coming up.
That’s it, these are my running goals for 2017. My focus will be on 50M and 100K races, with hopefully one 100M race this summer.
As of writing this post in early March, I’ve run one race and I’m signed up for four more. I have tentatively scheduled my first 100 miler into the season in early July. I might also throw some shorter 5k or 10k races in for fun or some other 50k races in for training.
Davenport Gap to Hot Springs on the Appalachian Trail - Some friends through the Territory Co. Runners of the Wild group did this run recently and my family is going to be in there area for spring break in early April, so I thought it would be a fun solo adventure and good prep for UTSM the next month. It has ~10,000 ft of elevation in 38 miles.
UTSM, 100K - I’m already going to be in Lisbon, Portugal teaching a workshop on Laban Movement Analysis to a bunch of designers at UX Lisbon in May. I just happened to check to see if there were any races around the same time and it turns out Ultra Trail de Sao Mamede 100k is the weekend before, so I’m going early and running in the mountains. The course is one big loop starting and ending in Portalegre and passing through 9 other mountain towns in eastern Portugal along the way. It should be fun. I can’t wait.
UTMA, 100M - I’ve been looking for a 100M to run this year between late-June through August. I found this race in Quebec, Canada on July 4th weekend. I haven’t committed to it yet, but I’m training as if I’ll be running it. We are planning to make a family trip of it. We’ll see what happens. It makes me super nervous, but I think that’s good. I’m nervous about the 100 miles and about the 28,000 ft of elevation gain.
Marquette, 50M - I’ve heard so much about this race, and I can’t wait to run at Marquette. I feel like its a right of passage for Michigan Ultra Runners. I’m really looking forward to this one.
talk at UXWEEK about Ultra Running - This one isn’t a race, but I was asked to speak at UX Week in SF about my experiences running Ultras. I have lots of ideas about how this talk will play out, but I’ll likely be shooting lots of running videos this summer and chatting with a lot of my ultra friends about their experiences as well, to incorporate it into the talk.
StumpJump, 50K - This looks like a fun race with some good elevation. I ended up getting a free registration as a member of the Territory Run Co. Runners of the Wild group. The race is in Chattanooga the weekend before the regional design conference I manage, which is in Cincinnati this year. So, I’ll head down to TN to meet up with a bunch of other ROTW people and have a fun race, and then head up to OH for a week of final conference preparations and the conference with a bunch of my designer friends.
Bad Apple Ultra, 12H - I love this race. It’s a timed race on a 4 mile trail loop through an apple orchard and single track. I’m hoping to get 72 miles this year.
In addition to these, I’d like to find some time to run the The Manistee River Loop Trail among other trails here in Michigan that I’ve yet to explore.
By the end of this year, if every thing comes together, I should be able to add 5+ new posters to add to the collection in my house.
Ultimately, my long term goal remains the same. It’s not about performing in any particular race, but I’m more interested in lifelong running, pushing my boundaries, and creating experiences and memories.
If you are on Strava, follow me, let’s connect, and you can help keep me honest: