Damn! I just typed this out and was saving when the wireless connection on this laptop went down. Let’s see if I reconstruct them. I know these are a few days late, but hey, they still count! They’ve been brewing in my mind for a while but I’m finally getting them “on paper.”
Here are some New Year’s resolutions:
* Be the best runner I can be, within the constraints of schedule, time, family, age, etc.
* Become a more solid 100-miler and an improved overall ultrarunner
* Learn the basics of mountaineering, and start carefully exploring what I’m capable of with ample help from instructors, training resources, guides, etc.. Safety is first!
*Train and race smart and healthy. Know when to back off, and take time off. Keep up the yoga, weights, swimming, and (to extent possible) biking. Let that stuff come before “junk miles” for mileage sake.
*Explore the synergies between mountain ultrarunning and mountaineering.
*Let adoption and fatherhood take their rightful central place in life when they come along (hopefully this year!). Search for that elusive balance when the time comes, but err on the side of family first. Remember: It’s all about the journey, not the destination!
Here are some specific goals for the YEAR that just started:
1) Complete two 100 milers (Tahoe Rim, and another tough Western races in Aug./Sept.)
2) Learn and apply lessons from Iroquois and Bighorn about pacing at altitude, acclimatization wherever possible, blister prevention, use of pacers, etc. Keep learning about strategies of how to tackle these mountain ultra beasts and train for them!
3) Improve my 50 mile times. At Zane Grey, go from 16 hours+ in ’07 do again this year, get under 12:30 or even 12 and under 11, respectively.
4) Improve my 50K times (just did so yesterday at PHUNT!). Let’s see if I end up with any more repeat 50Ks at same races from last year.
5) Keep clear in my mind which are “goal races” and which are “training through” races. Don’t forget to take time off running and to cross-train after big goal races, and especially after that 2nd 100 of the year.
6) Apply myself methodically to the task of learning about and training for mountaineering, starting with the EMS course. Keep an open mind about whether or not this is a path I wish to travel down, and travel the path with caution if I decide to. No summit fever! Ok to say “not my cup of tea” if I discover it’s beyond my capacities.
7) If the course goes well, try a guided summer expedition to a western peak like maybe Rainier. If that goes well and is fun, try a guided expedition up Izta and/or other nevados in Mexico next December.
8) Find a way to sneak in a tri in 2009, hopefully my first off-roader. Do one of the MIF open water swims this year.
9) Do some AMC group hikes, including something this winter
Finally, some medium- to long-term goals (including some life listers):
* Complete three serious mountain ultras in 2010
* In 2011, the year of “50,” complete one of the Grand Slam 100 series of four races in a single summer (Classic Slam, Western Slam, or Rocky Mountain Slam, preferable one of latter two)
*By the end of 2013, finish all the 100s on the Hardrock qualifying list…including HR itself!
Finish two loops at the infamous Barkley
* Trt a stage race overseas in some exotic, exciting location
* Crew Badwater to check it out close up and explore whether…
* Tackle some South American or Asian peak at 20,000 feet or more with a guided, experienced team, if the mountaineering dream continues
*Find a way back into tri’s on my own terms, hopefully passing through off-road. Perhaps the Ultimate XC three-day challenge in Quebec if held in 2010 as one concrete thing? Keep looking for longer off-roaders out there, beyond the X-Terra distances
* Find groups to do some long-distance backpacking or running in beautiful places…just for fun!
Winter sports? Winter tri’s? Long-distance snowshoeing or cross-country?
* Never stop dreaming, but keep those feet firmly planted so you don’t fall over! Safety is never optional!