I've been reading along as everyone posts their 2013 resolutions and/or goals, and while I've been excited and inspired by all the cool things people are planning, I've felt a little aimless. 2012 was a Very Good Year. I did so many really cool things. I think I'm not really sure where I want to go from here, so for right now, I guess the answer is more of the same.
It's not that there aren't amazing things still left to tackle, but the things that call to me (expedition adventure race, 50-mile ultra) are things that realistically don't fit my life right now. My kids need to eat, and I'm pretty sure I'm not prepared to put in the training I'd need to do to be successful in anything longer than a marathon right now. So, more of the same...with a catch.
If there was a theme running through my race reports last year, it was definitely lack of training. I regularly left races that I'd gutted out wondering what I could have accomplished if I'd prepared for them. Emily at Sweat Once a Day just blogged about untapped potential (and if you don't read her blog, seriously go check it out. She's hilarious and an amazing athlete), and while her goals and ability are light years ahead of my own, I recognized myself in what she wrote.
What could I do if I tried? Part of my issue is that I'm easily convinced to jump into some crazy stuff, but I think in some ways my lack of training is a self-protection mechanism. If I didn't really work for it, than any result can be framed as a triumph of sorts. Hey, Skippo took me over 4 hours, but I finished. Well, I DNF'd at Dirty Kanza, but I rode 160 miles. Yes, I cried through most of my 2-hour last lap at Indian Camp Creek, but I didn't quit. Don't mistake what I'm saying...trying is awesome. Just finishing is awesome. Pushing yourself to new places is awesome. BUT how much more awesome would it be if I applied all that toughness and effort in training? That's the big question I'm looking to answer this year.
My biggest priority is to be able to perform well in our adventure races. If I'm running regularly, I'll be strong on the foot legs. Realistically I'm not going to do much if any paddling practice, so the biggest area where I need to improve is on the bike. I'm definitely the weakest of the team on the bike, especially on singletrack. Improving confidence and speed on my mountain bike will reduce that ability gap, so that's going to be a big target for me this year and the reason for what for now looks like a very bike-heavy schedule. I'll also be working on my navigating, but my map-impairment only affects my abilty to give route input; it doesn't slow my team down.
1) New 5K PR. Right now it's 26:15, set when I was running more or less regularly but with no focus on speed. I'm aiming for sub: 25. I'm not sure I can do that, but I'm actually going to follow a training plan, so we'll see how that goes. I'm still going to keep my weekend mileage up, regardless of whether or not it's a good idea in light of the PR plan, because my main reason for running (other than it's fun) is to stay in shape for the foot portion of adventure races.
2) Fall more on the mountain bike. OK, I don't really want to fall, but I do want to take more chances and push myself more instead of being such a chicken.
3) Stay fit. I gained 20 lbs between LBL in March and Thunder Rolls in August. That's ridiculous, and I could definitely tell the difference in how I felt during the races.
NOTE: As always, this is a work in progress and depends on finances and the continuing goodwill of my loving husband and is always subject to change in the event that something more interesting comes up. I'll hopefully add more mountain bike races to this, but for now I just stuck with the things I was most likely to do.
1/12/13 SHivering Icy Trail Run - nighttime trail half marathon...in what at this point is forecasted to be constant rain and temps in the 40's. Yea....
3/22-24/13 High Profile Adventure Camp/Lightning Strikes Adventure Race - honestly, this is a longshot moneywise, but I'd really love to go. The location is fantastic, Gerry Vollinger puts on a great race, and I really, really need to learn how to ascend better.
4/6/13 - Carnage at the Creek 2 - Team Virtus adventure non-race - good times. :)
4/13/13 Ava Brown Memorial 5K - This race is really special to me because it's held in honor of my friend Robby's daughter Ava, who passed away due to SIDS at the age of 8 weeks. The race raises money to support SIDS research. It'll also be my first go at my 5k PR, which will likely be a big fail because this is a hilly course. That's ok, there are 5ks all year long....
5/4/13 Cedar Cross - 100is miles of Missouri by bike over primarily gravel roads. This race is my friend Bob's baby, and I had to miss the inaugural edition last year for Jacob's First Communion. I'm sure this year will be even harder, which will at least be good training for DK200.
6/1/13 Dirty Kanza 200 - There are so many reasons not to do this race...200 miles of gravel roads in a day in the middle of the Flint Hills...still don't have the right bike...but it's just such a cool experience. I'd like to think second time's a charm, but in reality we couldn't have had any nice weather than last year. More likely, this year's going to have the typical nightmarish temperatures and wind, but suffering through it will be easier than suffering through all the facebook updates while I sit home.
6/22/13 Indian Camp Creek 12hour mountain bike race - this is tentative and could get scrapped if vacation plans get in the way. I'd like to redeem myself from last year, and as bad as the last lap was last year, the rest of the race was a good experience. The fact is that without a race forcing me to keep riding, I tend to chicken out after a couple hours.
7/6/13 My family always plays in a mud volleyball tournament over July 4 weekend. If I'm feeling it, I'll also race in the Hannibal Cannibal 5K the morning of the tournament.
8/24/13 Thunder Rolls 24 hr Adventure Race - Another race I've been thinking about since leaving the last one. Hopefully this edition with have fewer yellow jackets and faster ascending. I went into last year's race in pretty lousy shape and felt like the weak link; this year, I'm going to make sure I stay fit and go into it strong.
Wild Trak Bikes' Superprestige Cyclocross series - I loved my first cx experience last year, and even if I continue my last-place streak it's a great workout.
9/28-29 Berryman Advenure Race 24 hour
10/19 Perfect 10 Rogaine
Skippo 30k - I'd like this to be terrible because I'm running so hard rather than terrible because I can barely hobble like last year.
1/7/13 Castlewood 8-hour adventure race - either racing or volunteering...I definitely don't want to miss it!
Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run - I'll be looking for a new PR and a better running experience than this last race.