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I’m going to need more gels….

Trail running at Folsom Lake

Trail running at Folsom Lake

This is a big year for me. It’s exciting…and a little terrifying.

The last year was filled with trials and tribulations and to some degree, literally. There were a few large personal hurdles that I had to face and with friends, family, time, money, and a lot of “therapy miles”; I made it through. Life is chaotic at times, and when you are able to harmonize it, and bring all the pieces together, it brings about a nice sense of clarity and focus. Resolving the prior year, required an act of rebirth so to speak. To focus on my health and my goals, and to shoot for my buckles.

It was time for the sweep, of all the major race distances I can align in a year. Every race since the half is a distance I have never done, with exception of the marathon, which was just a new personal best.

The Half
I wish I could have started with a 5K or 10K, but there were none that fit into the time table or my personal calendar, so it started with my first (official) half marathon. An easy distance, one that I was familiar with both physically and mentally on a road course with little challenge. The half marathon was slower than I would have liked, but I left a lot in the tank since I had the California International Marathon only a few weeks later and did not want to risk any injury making a crazy push.

The CIM

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The Marathon was more or less what I expected. My training plan was not “Boston”, but it would get me to the end of the race in a time that would satisfy me. Boston qualifying will come in 2016, I have no doubt. I shot for sub 3:45 and crossed the line around 3:41. Since I had a greater trajectory planed, I did not want to push myself beyond what I could easily handle.
My first marathon was less than stellar at 4:18 (or something) in 2013, but after tearing a calf muscle a month before the race, I stopped running, switched to cycling and just crossed my fingers until race day. With that poor first showing behind me, I was quite pleased with the second.

The Ultras and beyond
Now, with two marathons under my belt, and quite a few runs between 10-25 on my GPS log over the last few years since I started running, I’m ready for more. I even have one personal run logged just over 30 miles. Some might say that it would qualify me for “ultra” status, but it does not feel that way. I want to earn it on the race course, cut my teeth on challenging terrain with fellow fanatics, and one day cross the finish with the best of them at some of the most storied events like Leadville, Western States or the UTMB, among others.

So far I have only hit snag; luck was not on my side and I failed to capture a lottery entry to the Miwok 100K in May. There are other options though, and they leave me with more time to get my mileage up and my times down, while experimenting with various training plans and methods.

The magic number I am chasing this year is 100 Miles. Since I was unable to get a Miwok slot, I must wait till June to see if I can get into the Cuyamaca 100K in October, or register soon for the Rio Del Lago 100 Mile in November. Personally I would like to do both, as I would love to sweep every major race distance this year. Instead I may shoot for a different 100K earlier on, or a different 100 miler later in the year, possibly early 2016. Since those are both qualifiers for the 2016 Western States 100, I will be giving one, or both, of them whatever I have left until I cannot give any more…and then keep going anyway.

2014
13.1 – November 22 – Davis Turkey Trot Half Marathon
26.2 – December 07 – California International Marathon

2015
50K – January 24 – Folsom Lake South Side Trail Run – 50K
50Mile – April 04 – American River 50 Mile
100K – October 03 – Cuyamaca 100K – 2016 WS qualifier
100Mile – November 07 – Rio Del Lago – 2016 WS qualifier

December 06 – California International Marathon – 2016 Boston qualifier

It’s good to have goals.

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