Summer Running Goals 2018

“Summer” as defined by me has already been going for two weeks! Of course, real summer hasn’t even started yet, but it feels like winter will be here in a matter of minutes. I’ve been traumatized by the cold climate, I guess. Anyway, I set more goals.

  1. Distance personal best.
    Spoiler alert: I achieved this at FANS, so now 42.3 miles is the longest I’ve traveled on foot.
  2. “Unofficial” marathon personal best.
    I also achieved this at FANS. By my calculations, my new unofficial marathon PR is 6:58:32.
  3. “Unofficial” 50K personal best.
    I didn’t achieve this at FANS, but I guess there’s always a chance to do this some other time.
  4. Check out the Endless Summer Trail Races
    This is a fun weekday evening trail series in the Twin Cities, put on by Rocksteady Running. I always hoped that my travel schedule would bring me down to attend one of the races, but now I live here and have no excuse!
  5. Legitimize my 5K PR.
    Due to Be the Match 5K using gun times rather than chip times for official race results, my 5K PR is 29:00 instead of 28:30 (per my watch). I want to make that 28:30 (or better!) official!
  6. Race a new distance.
    I don’t know what that’s going to be, as I was so focused on FANS, and I didn’t want to make any summer commitments until after I knew how I’d recovered from that race.

The good news is I’m really excited to start running again, and working toward my fall races. Considering how down I was about running during the spring, it feels good to know I’ve mentally recovered and am back to enjoying the sport!

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Spring 2018 Running Goals Revisited

“Spring” is almost over (for these purposes, spring is March, April, and May), so I should hold myself accountable to the goals I set for myself.

  1. PR at the Hot Dash 10 Mile
    DNS, womp womp.
  2. Course PR at Chippewa Moraine 50K
    I had a 25 minute course PR!
  3. Overall PR at Chippewa Moraine 50K
    I fell short of this goal, unfortunately. Time to improve my nutrition in ultras.
  4. Sub 4 hours at Superior 25K
    Yes! I had a great race and came in at 3:49:45!
  5. Sub 30 minutes at Be The Match 5K
    I ran a gun time of 29:00 (watch time 28:30, grrr, I am stupidly bitter), so check check check!

60% achievement – that’s a D- in school, but I consider it pretty good. I don’t set goals that I can easily check off. Well, sometimes I do, but not exclusively! It’s sometimes nice to not make my goals so that I don’t have to make up new ones, ha.

I wish I had run the Hot Dash 10 Mile, and I feel stupid for not getting up to run it, but whatever. It’s not like I forfeited thousands in prize money or something. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it but it’s fine. I like sleep, too.

Checking in on my overarching 2018 goals:
-Taking deliberate rest breaks: I plan on taking 2 weeks off after FANS.
-Running more miles than 2017/reaching 1000 miles earlier than 2017: I am 70 miles ahead of my 2017 mileage through May 23rd.
-Going outside daily “with intention”: Not every day, but more days than not. I’m keeping track in my running journal.
-Turning strength training into a habit: No
-Tracking spending: I forgot I was going to do this, so no
-Spending more time with other runners: Kind of? I walk at lunch with 2 other women, and I have people to talk to pre and post race, but I’m not going on group runs or anything. I didn’t join the running gym as it’s really far from my house.

Now I have to hurry and make up my summer running goals since my first opportunity is just around the corner!

Spring Running Goals 2018

It’s already a month into spring and I’m still not really focused. I suppose that’s in part due to moving and the upheaval that’s caused (currently we’re dealing with bed bugs and in a sort of limbo waiting for the exterminator to come before we can finish packing), and in part due to the weather (it’s still pretty chilly, often damp, and the extended forecast looks crappy). I’m not really all that motivated right now.

The goals I’ve been kicking around in my head for awhile are as follows:

  1. PR at the Hot Dash 10 Mile
    I DNS this race despite going to packet pickup. I just didn’t want to run it. I woke up and decided I’d rather sleep in. I think it was a good decision, as we drove to Sioux Falls later that day. I kept this on the list in the interest of full disclosure.
  2. Course PR at Chippewa Moraine 50K
    This should be fairly easy, considering I have a much faster 50K PR now and I have figured out how to keep sunscreen out of my eyes.
  3. Overall PR at Chippewa Moraine 50K
    This is going to be harder, because I think this course is harder than the Fall Back Blast course, but I think I can do it. I’m definitely going to be coming up with a sub-8 hour race plan. My training hasn’t been superb but I’ve got a few weeks to get my energy back.
  4. Sub 4 hours at Superior 25K
    I was close last year. I know it’s possible this year.
  5. Sub 30 minutes at Be The Match 5K
    I haven’t run a sub 30 5K since… since last year’s Be The Match. So I’m not even looking to PR right now, just looking to get back in that ballpark.

These are all time goals, and I usually try to mix in goals that aren’t time-related, but I can’t think of anything I want to do right now. I need to get back into a rhythm with training as well as with my daily life before I start to figure out what other goals I can set for myself. I guess one mini goal I had was to run across the Wabasha Street Bridge, which I did, so I can pat myself on the back for that.

Looking Back at 2017

It’s the new year, and that means I can arbitrarily look at a 365 day snapshot of my training and assess it. I looked back on 2016 around this time last year, believe it or not.

In 2017, I ran 1706 miles in 234 days, at an average pace of 14:06. That’s a pretty big improvement over 2016’s 1537 miles in 228 days, at an average pace of 16:38. In 9 of 12 months, I ran more miles than I did in the corresponding month in 2016. The big outlier there was June, when I took a bunch of time off after FANS, and therefore ran 83 fewer miles than I had in 2016. I’ve probably run more road workouts than I did 2016, which accounts for some of the increase in the overall pace, but I’m also just faster. Hooray!

I took 131 rest days this year, only 5 fewer than I did in 2016. One of my goals for 2017 was to reduce my rest days a lot, and to minimize unplanned extended breaks, and I don’t really think I succeeded at that, although I did take several planned breaks that were longer (my vacation to the East Coast, my 2 week break in early December), so maybe I succeeded a little bit. I’m definitely going to try to sprinkle more planned breaks into my training in 2018, for sure.

I raced 13 times, including one race I didn’t finish and one race that felt like I didn’t finish, and I had one race I didn’t start (I think, maybe there was another one). I didn’t solve my Race Eve sleeping problems. I bought a new treadmill and several new pairs of shoes. I failed to track my running-related spending, as I’d planned.

I set a goal to run more miles than 2016, hopefully 2000. I didn’t run 2000, but I’m not really concerned about that. Maybe I’ll make it in 2018. Maybe I won’t, but I do want to best my 2017 total.

Looking ahead to 2018, I will leave my more specific goals for each season, so I won’t have any performance-related goals until March. My year long goals are usually more abstract, more philosophical, nothing that can be achieved in a single day. Of course I already mentioned continuing to take deliberate rest breaks and to run more miles than I did in 2017. I hope to hit the 1000 mile mark sooner than I did in ’17 (31 July).

I want to go outside every day, with intention. Of course the word intention sounds like very “woo woo” self help planner culture b.s., but I don’t know how else to put it concisely. I want to go outside for the purpose of spending time outside, not just as a means to get in my car and go to work. Even if it’s just a couple minutes outside in the yard with my cats. Naturally, outdoor running will fulfill this goal, too.

I need to turn strength training into a habit. That doesn’t mean an intense lifting program several day a week, but I need to stop going weeks on end without doing so much as a push-up. I’ve said “I should do more strength training” in far too many race reports. It’s time to really work on my core and leg strength in a committed way.

I do want to try tracking my spending again. That doesn’t sound very forceful, but I’d like to get a better handle on what this pastime costs me.

I want to spend more time with other runners, whether that’s more volunteer time, or actually participating in a group run, or joining a running gym (which I am considering doing in a few months). I need more running friends, more familiar faces at the starting line and the finish line.

I’ve got other, more interesting things in mind for each season, but I never really know too far in advance where my running journey is going to take me, and I like it that way.

Fall Running Goals: 2017 Revisited

Fall ends very early in Duluth, so even though we’ve not reached the winter solstice, I’m ready to close the book on the season.

I won’t be setting any goals for “winter” (December-February), because I don’t really race then. I’ll set my year-long goals in January, and then do seasonal goals for spring, summer, and fall. I know some people need that next race on the calendar to get themselves psyched up, but I feel great about not having any running obligations, and I’m glad to have a break from race fees!

My fall running goals were as follows:

  1. Course personal best at WD50K.
    I didn’t finish, so I’m starting off well here.
  2. Set another marathon PR.
    I didn’t start the Birkie, so I didn’t set a marathon PR. I finished the Fall Back Blast in 15:55, a pace nearly a minute faster than my marathon PR pace from July.
  3. Run all the remaining segments of the Superior Hiking Trail between Duluth and Two Harbors.
    I completed all the segments except the long one from Lake County Demonstration Forest to Reeves Road. Bummer, but I didn’t have the time nor the energy for a 22 mile run, and couldn’t make it work to run with a friend and coordinate parking.
  4. Take 2 weeks off deliberately.
    In progress. I’m four days in and have a cold already. Huzzah.

That was a pretty poor showing (25%!), but at the same time, I still set an overall 50K PR, I ran a lot of fun new segments of the Superior Hiking Trail, and I am enjoying my time off during a really annoying cold snap. I had plenty to enjoy about my fall season, even if I didn’t achieve many of my goals. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

‘Twas the Night Before a Thanksgiving 5K

Ugh why do I run these stupid things? I am not good at them. I decided to “sabotage” my race by running almost 7 miles today. I say “sabotage” because for all I know, it’ll help.

I’m not getting any better at 5Ks, which is not surprising because I am putting zero effort into improving at them. It turns out running trail ultramarathons is not great for speed. Who knew? Well, I knew.

Sometimes I think about putting serious effort into my 5K time. It never happens because I always find some shiny new trail race to occupy my training. Also I feel really stupid about putting a lot of effort into 5K training, when the average semi-fit person could amble up to the start wearing basketball shorts and Chuck Taylors and knock out a better time than I can with a full training cycle. I realize that’s kind of pathetic and I should just run my own race and get on with my bad self, but it’s unlikely.

5Ks are really hard for me to do well at. I wonder about this. I am running at a very hard effort for 30 minutes. A faster person is running very hard for like 25 minutes, or 22 minutes, or 18 minutes (we’re talking local 5Ks here, people, not the Olympic trials). That’s way easier! Says me, the person with no experience running anywhere near that pace. Hey, if people can make obnoxious generalizations about how a 10:00 pace is “not really running” or make snide remarks about people who participate in Thanksgiving Day 5Ks like it’s some kind of offense to the sport of running itself, I can say it’s easier to run hard for a shorter period of time.

Why yes, I do feel very defensive. I don’t care.

I’m still going to go into this with hope of a PR (current PR is 29:21 and is now almost a year old) even though I have no reason to believe I have the leg speed to do so. Which, let’s be real, “believing” is the actual problem. My mental game is weak.

A Standard: 28:59
B Standard: 29:20

Okay, gauntlet thrown down. Time for me to also pick it up.

Fall Running Goals: 2017

It’s meteorological fall! Time for some new goals!

  1. Course personal best at WD50K.
    The time to beat is 10:25:27. Obviously an overall 50K personal best would be amazing, too, but the course is harder.
  2. Set another marathon PR.
    This is tricky, because the Birkie is not actually a marathon distance. So I’ll look at overall pace in addition to overall time.
  3. Run all the remaining segments of the Superior Hiking Trail between Duluth and Two Harbors.
    Segments remaining: Sucker River to Fox Farm Road, Fox Farm Road to Rossini Road, Rossini Road to Lake County Demonstration Forest, Lake County Demonstration Forest to Reeves Road (11 miles, yikes!), and Reeves Road to Lake County Road 301.
  4. Take 2 weeks off deliberately.
    Once I’ve finished Wild Duluth, I’m going to give myself 2 weeks off, for real, with no guilt. I need the mental reset, and to let the blisters and scabs and twinges truly heal. I’ve taken time off before, but usually due to either illness or a mental funk, so it’s never as satisfying as planned time off.

Checking in on my summer running goals:

  1. Reach a personal best in distance.
    Nope.
  2. PR at the marathon distance.
    I ran 7:22:17 at the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon, a PR of 1:01:12.
  3. Run from home to my dad’s place on Pike Lake.
    I never made the time to do this. I still need to plan a route and then drive it to see how safe the roads look.
  4. Run from Gooseberry Falls to Split Rock Lighthouse.
    I did this at the end of July. It was ok. I might try it again and go all the way to the lighthouse.

Only 50%? That’s not a very good showing. I did a lot of other fun stuff this summer so I don’t mind.